The National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) trained tour guides, tour operators in Jos, with participants from the 17 local governments in Plateau State, with stakeholders from Lagos and Abuja on improving the hiking experience.
The Plateau State Special Advisor on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation, Mr. Samuel Kwankur, speaking on behalf of the Executive Governor of the State, commended NIHOTOUR for the initiative.
Kwankur said Plateau State has one of the most viable tourist hotspots in Nigeria with potentials for economic and sustainable development of the state that can create jobs for the unemployed youths teaming up.
He debunked fake news about insecurity in the state, promising that the government would set up a NIHOTOUR training center in Plateau State.
The Director General of the National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, Nura Sani Kangiwa, said in his welcome address that the tourism resources of Plateau State are unique and unmatched in Nigeria.
According to Kangiwa, the state is rich in ecotourism, diverse wildlife, Safari Park, Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Solomon Lar Amusement Park, Jos Zoo, Kura Falls, Pansan Game Reserves, Kahwang Rocks formation and many others.
The Managing Director said that as a modest contribution to the development of the industry, NIHOTOUR is organizing this training for tour operators and destination managers on selling hiking experience as a tour package.
Nura Kangiwa described various tourist spots in the Plateau, stating that the Jos Museum was founded in 1952 and is the first museum in Nigeria – located at the foot of a free covered granite mountain named Coronated Hill. Explaining that it has an accumulation of terracotta sculptures from the Nok culture as its most distinguished features.
Also, Wase Rock, which is a striking domed inselberg with a towering height of 45 meters and is one of only five white pelican breeding grounds in Africa. Assop Falls is on the way to Abuja.
Dignitaries present are the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, represented by Hon. Lawyer Samuel Kwamkur Special Advisor on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation. Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Dr. Bakut T. Bakut, said the Plateau State Government has established the Peace and Conflict Resolution Agency to resolve the dispute between the aggrieved parties which has brought peace to the state of the Plateau.
Mrs. Tamwak, Honorary Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, was represented by Mr. Isaac Maram, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
Mr. Ikechi Uko, Consultant and Organizer of African Travel Market AKWAABA and Publisher of Africa Travel Magazine, said in his welcoming remarks that the white pelican is a global bird with followers, it means a potential market for bird watchers. He reiterated that tour operators should take advantage of global hiking demand.
Mrs. Ime Udo, President of the National Association of Nigerian Tour Operators. (NATOP), appreciated the initiative of Plateau State Government and NIHOTOUR, pledging that OTANP will organize guided tours for tourists to come to Jos Plateau.
The Managing Director of NIHOTOUR concluded that this is the start of good things happening in the tourism sector in Plateau State. The benefits of training, he said, will generate a positive impact on the growth of the industry, as many people will register with the National Association of Nigerian Tour Operators (NATOP), thereby pursuing careers as tour operators. . create more jobs for unemployed youth and lead to wealth creation and sustainable industry development.