September 13, (THEWILL) – The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (Nihotour), recently matriculated no fewer than 500 students and trainees for the 2020/2021 academic session.
The Director-General of the institute, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, disclosed this during the matriculation ceremony held at the institution’s headquarters in Abuja.
While congratulating the students for gaining admission to the institute, Kangiwa also stated that Nihotour was one of the most rated projects of the UNDP/ILO and the Federal Government for professional travel, hospitality, tourism training services and research in the country.
“More importantly, our tuition fees are the least among tertiary institutions in Nigeria. The management subsidises fees of students to attract the less privileged and also provides avenues for professional organisations to access capacity building for their agencies.
“We are doing all we can within the resources available to maintain the needed conducive teaching and learning environment for your smooth training and studies”.
He admonished the new trainees and students to use their youthful energy positively to enhance the growth and development of the institute and not to bring shame and bad publicity or damage its good image.
The DG urged them to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations of the institution, as well as to focus on studying hard so as to leave with good results.
The President of FTAN, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, commended Kangiwa for his passionate leadership and unwavering quest to sustain the position of Nihotour as a leading global brand to be reckoned with.
“We appreciate what you are doing and the many lives you are changing and growing positively. A few years ago, students of tourism and hospitality were laughed at for not choosing more serious career paths.
“Jobs in the sector were not taken seriously and building a career in the industry was not regarded as an option at all.
“A few years down the line, we are here today celebrating with new students who are interested in pursuing a career in travel, hospitality and tourism,” he said.
Onung noted that the world had entered a phase commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution, a period characterised by a technological revolution that is massively reshaping and transforming the way industries, communities and societies operate and engage or relate with each other.
He said the travel, hospitality and tourism industry, which is largely labour intensive and has the potential to realise growth and make significant contributions to the economic development of communities around globe, has the capacity to rapidly fill hundreds of thousands of new positions with qualified people.
“The industry is particularly dependent on its ability to hire young men and women aged between 17 and 25 years, who make up the largest share of employees in the industry.
“Going forward, the nature of travel, hospitality and tourism businesses will change to functioning with only qualified manpower and more efficient operations, where a balance between smart and skilled labour is sought after”.
“Our dear matriculants, while NIHOTOUR is performing its duties of providing you with adequate level of quality education, it is imperative for you to know that educators and employers have found that for young people to succeed in today’s rapidly changing and globalised world, they need an educational foundation that includes more than just academic and technical skills. You critically need life and employability skills as a way to prepare you to be motivated and confident decision-makers who can overcome adversity and realise your potential”.
“At this point, we encourage you all to develop a career vision and to chart a career path in this sector. This entails accepting responsibility for how far you want to go. The vision must be clear, you must acquire the competence required while expecting definite constraints which creativity and concentration will deliver.
“The importance of life skills for the travel, hospitality and tourism industry cannot be overstated. It is not unusual for entry-level staff in a hotel to interact daily with hundreds of people with different cultural backgrounds, languages, service expectations, and needs. Travel, Hospitality and Tourism industry workers must be able to rapidly adapt to accommodate a degree of diversity unheard of in other lines of work,” Onung added.
He appealed to all practitioners in the industry to join hands with NIHOTOUR as a matter of urgency and necessity to encourage up skilling, re-skilling and continuous education as a means to building capacity to meet travel, hospitality and tourism industry skills gap for quality service delivery in Nigeria.