NIHOTOUR boss commends Plateau’s rich tourism potential, as agency trains Tour Guides on improved hiking experience

The Director General of National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Nuru Sani Kangiwa has commended Plateau State for its rich tourism potential.

This is coming just as the agency organised a two days training programme for Tour guides and tour operators in Jos, with participant from the 17 local governments of Plateau State, as well as stakeholders from Lagos and Abuja.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Governor, Rt Hon Simon Bako Lalong who was represented by Hon. Barrister Samuel Kwankur, Special adviser on Enterpreneurship and Job Creation lauded NIHOTOUR for the initiative, stating that Plateau State has one of the most viable tourism sites in Nigeria with potential for economic and sustainable development of the State which can create jobs for the teaming unemployed youths.

He debunked false news regarding insecurity in the state, promising that the Government would establish a NIHOTOUR Training center in Plateau State.

‎Dr Bakut T. Bakut, said that the government of Plateau State set up the Peace and Conflict Resolution Agency to resolve the dispute between aggreived parties, this has brought peace to Plateau State.

In his welcome address, the Director General National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, Nura Sani Kangiwa, stated that Plateau State tourism resources are unique and next to none in Nigeria.

According to Kangiwa the state is rich in Eco-tourism, diverse wildlife, Safari park, Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Solomon Lar Amusement park, Jos Zoo, Kura Falls, Pansan games reserves, Kahwang Rocks formation, and many more.

The Director General said as a modest contribution to the development of the industry, NIHOTOUR is organising the training for tour operatiors and destination managers on selling hiking experience as a tour package.

Nura Kangiwa while describing the various tourism sites in Plateau, stated that Jos museum was founded in 1952 as Nigeria’s first museum – situated at the foot of a free covered granites mountion named Coronated Hill.

He explained that it has accumulation of Terra Cotta Sculptures of Nok Culture as its most distinguished features.

He listed others to include, the Wase Rock, which is a striking dome-shaped inselberg with a towering hight of 45 meters and one of the only five breeding places for the White Pelican in Africa, the Assop Falls which is along the way to Abuja among others.

‎The Director General of NIHOTOUR concluded that this is the beginning of good things happening in the tourism sector in Plateau State. The benefits of the training, he said, will generate a positive impact in the growth of the sector, as a lot of people will register under the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators (NATOP) thereby making a career as tour operators, hence it will create more jobs for the unemployed youths and lead to Wealth creation and sustainable development of the Industry.

Speaking also, Mr. Ikechi Uko a Consultant and the organizer of the AKWAABA African Travel Market and publisher of Africa Travel Magazine stated that the white Pelican is a global bird with followers, this means a potential market for bird watchers.

He reiterated that tour operators should take advantage of the global demand for hiking.

Mrs. Ime Udo, President of the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators. (NATOP), appreciated the government of Plateau State and NIHOTOUR for the initiative, promising that NATOP will package tours for tourist to come into Jos Plateau.

‎Dignitaries in attendance at the event include the Executive Governor of Plateau State, Solomon Lalong, represented by Hon. Barrister Samuel Kwamkur Special Adviser on Entrepreneurship and Job Creation, the Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Tamwakat Weli, who was represented by Mr. Isaac Maram, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry,
Director General Institute For Peace and Conflict Resolution.

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