INSTITUTE for Tourism Professionals (ITP) has said that stakeholders rally round genuine effort to develop the human capital required for the growth of the tourism industry in Nigeria.
The President, Institute of Tourism Professionals and Chairman, FTAN, Manpower Development and Standards Committee Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, who was reacting to the regrouping of Association of Nigerian Tourism Writers and Travel Journalists (ANJET) made the statement in a media release recently.
“Nigeria is a wonderful country in all ramifications. This is especially so when you look at the aggregation of its people, the landscapes, culture, character, history and traditions.
According to Odusanwo, “These are the indicators of our uniqueness as a nation, which we hold as a pride of our inheritance. They are also potential factors to galvanise people from around the world to want to see our vast array of cultures and to know and understand Nigeria.
“Our culture of hospitality is remarkable while our festivals are embedded in deep-rooted cultural legacies, influencing therefore a sense of socio-cultural successes that are not only long-standing, but are also one of the pointers to our future in terms of the visions and potentials to develop.
Tourism is central to how people from across the country and from abroad can begin to understand and appreciate the richness and wonders of Nigeria tourist destination.
However, it is incumbent on the ANJET to disseminate cohesive and abundantly rich information that reflects good appreciation of the tourism industry in its entirety to everyone, whether they’re from different parts of Nigeria or from different countries around the world, to be able to enjoy the rich diversity of what Nigeria has to offer.
“The Institute for Tourism Professionals welcome the coming back of ANJET and its renewed commitment to practically join force with the stakeholders, through the practice of their professionalism along a sense of adventure traversing every historical sites, museums and resorts providing the inspiration and information to set the tourist in motion.
He tasked ANJET to leave by its statutory obligation as a watchdog of the tourism and allied industry by reactivating and re-awakening the partnership trend of the public and private sector that will give meaning to the promotion and development that the government is yearning for.
Nevertheless, Odusanwo seeing tourism as wide and veritable industry to invest, said tourism covers a multitude of leisure-time activities ranging from sight-seeing and shopping to attending sports events or visiting friends and relatives. Now film tourism, sports tourism, specialist activities and interests of every kind are extending tourism in new ways and into new regions. Business conferences, festivals, medical, education, eco tourism and adventures spread the net wider still.
“Tourists can be visiting from abroad or from within Nigeria; for many weeks or just on a day trip. What makes them all tourists is that they are travelling to a place outside their usual environment.
“A myriad of businesses depend in whole or part on tourism, not just hotels and accommodation providers, but restaurants, shops, art and crafts, transport businesses and a range of visitor attractions from museums to our monuments.”
He added that the impact of tourism activity is enormous on individuals, communities and on national self-image, stating that it accounts for a significant part of our economic activity, yet it is in some ways still a misunderstood industry.
The tourism professional urged ANJET to champion the cause of the tourism and related hospitality industries, helping tourist both domestic and international explore Nigeria destinations and rich potentialities.
Odusanwo however explained that the challenge facing all stakeholders now is to create a competitive, excellent tourism industry in Nigeria, which matches both the quality and diversity.
“We must have a tourism industry, which provides affordable quality, which is open to all and which makes the best use of Nigeria’s resources and a tourism industry which concentrates on our key resource – People.”