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ITPN Retreat: Ogun tourism commissioner, Olumoko tasked on professionalism, partnership

Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) last week held stakeholders and new members retreat for its South West zone in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. The one-day event was attended by members of the institute and different stakeholders including government officials, with Ogun State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs. Adijat Motunrayo Adeleye-Oladapo, who was one of the special guests, leading the government officials. Speaking at the event, the commissioner commended ITPN for its dedication to development of tourism and promotion of professionalism, noting that, ‘‘the ITPN over the years has placed Nigeria tourism in the front burner by enhancing the status of tourism and its practitioners to meet higher global standards.

‘‘All of these efforts I must say are worthy steps in the right direction which is aptly appreciated by the Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism. ‘‘Today’s retreat is a pointer to the fact that Ogun State government has come to terms with the vision of the ITPN to prepare a good ground for the provision of tourism sector personnel with professional ladder for competitive quality product and service delivery.’’ The commissioner also spoke extensively on the efforts of the state government at improving on its tourism sector, developing and promoting its various attractions including festivals, cultural heritage and MICE among others.

This is as she noted that, ‘‘in ensuring that tourism gets to the next level in Ogun State, the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led administration is poised to approach tourism in a holistic perspective to engage all other sectors and activities in tourism value chain which include but not limited to aqua-tourism, agro-tourism, medical tourism and transportation.’’

Adeleye-Oladapo also reeled out a list of challenges confronting tourism, stressing, however, ‘‘as complex as these chal-lenges appear, within the short period of the current administration, we have been able to strengthen the security architecture of the State which is a prerequisite for sustainable tourism through public-private partnership. In terms of innovation and technology, we have developed a significant innovation in managing and promoting tourism particularly on how tourists search and receive information that guides them to the final choice of destination.’’ She charged the stakeholders on taking advantage of the state’s tourism, saying that, ‘‘I therefore implore our stakeholders particularly the private sector investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities that abound in Ogun State tourism industry by intensifying their collaboration with the state in “Building Our Future Together” in this regard.’’ On his part, the Vice President, South West, ITPN, Otunba Ayo Olumoko, while commending the state government for its tourism, called attention to the need for ers especially between the government and the private sector. According to him, ‘‘there is a need for a coordinated effort to develop the sector to meet global standards, and this is where the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria comes in. Ogun State presents diverse opportunities in community-based tourism, cultural and sports begging for public – private partnerships, investment and product developments that can in no small measure be beneficial to government determination to create jobs, generate more revenue and assuage youth restiveness.’’ He elaborated on the remix of the institute, noting that, ‘‘the ITPN is a professional body committed to promoting professionalism and excellence in the tourism and hospitality industry. The institute is a platform that brings together stakeholders in the industry, including industry practitioners, academics, and policymakers, to drive the development of the sector. ‘‘The roles and place of the institute in this regard have been well elaborated in the presentation by the state chapter chairman. The Institute purpose is to promote professionalism, ethics, and best practices in the tourism and hospitality industry through training, research, and advocacy. The ITPN also provides a platform for networking, collaboration, and exchange of ideas among industry stakeholders. In this regard, the South West zone office of the institute working with the various state chapters of the institute will collaborate with state governments in the zone. ‘‘In a series of upcoming programmes and events to not only revolutionaries but to reposition the vast tourism offers in the region with a view of creating tourism market ready products in the shortest possible time.’’ On what members of ITPN stand to gain, Olumoko, said, ‘‘one of the benefits of being a member of the ITPN is access to training and capacity building programs that will enhance professional skills and knowledge. For example, the state Ministry of Culture and Tourism, can partner the institute as an awarding body to create its own centre, specifically dedicated and designed to meet human capital and skills needs and gaps of the industry in the state. ‘‘The Institute also provides a platform for members to showcase their expertise and connect with potential clients and partners. The ITPN can also be of immense assistance to the state ministry responsible for tourism in generating revenue and adding value to the growth and development of domestic tourism and related tourism products development for repositioning tourism in the state.’’ He tasked all the stakeholders to bond and work together so as to achieve a common goal. ‘‘I urge all industry stakeholders to work together to promote the development of the tourism and hospitality industry in Ogun State and indeed Nigeria. I also encourage new and upcoming members to take advantage of the opportunities provided by the institute to enhance their professional skills and knowledge. Let us work together to make Ogun state outstanding in tourism, human capital, cultural, and domestic-based tourism,’’ he said. In his welcome remark, the Coordinator of ITPN, Ogun State chapter, Bolaji J. Kelani, who is also the Director of Studies, Aerovessel School of Aviation and Tourism Management, expressed delight as host of the first retreat of the institute for stakeholders and new members. He highlighted the brief of the institute and its various activities, and the different membership levels, noting that, ‘‘it is our dream to encourage and improve on the growth of ITPN in Ogun State, especially in the areas of promoting a great synergy between players in the industry from both the Public, Private and Non-profit sector.

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