Dikachi Franklin, Owerri
Stakeholders in the hospitality and hotel sector in Imo State heaved a sigh of relief hearing Governor Hope Uzodimma’s vow to make the State become the prime hub of tourism in Nigeria and revealing that the programme to implement this will soon be rolled out for the public to see.
First, he said, the tourism sector would be revamped through massive application of rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery of the State’s latent and long neglected tourist attractions and tourism assets.
Mazi Uche Ohia, a PhD holder, and the Commissioner for Tourism who spoke for his principal, revealed this to hospitality and hotel stakeholders during a one-day training on hospitality leadership training held at Oxygen Hotels and Holiday Resort, Owerri, under the auspices of the International Hospitality, Tourism and sustainable Forum(IHTEF Africa) and Imo State Hoteliers Association(ISHA) .
He stated that this present administration will work in synergy with tourism stakeholders to rebrand and to promote tourism in the state in order to encourage local and foreign investments , and in doing this, job opportunities will be created for broad band of people with significant returns for stakeholders.
The commissioner told the audience to take note that “Imo State has great potentials for tourism development. Aside from a natural, geographically strategic location that makes our state equidistant to most major cities of the South East and South south geopolitical zones, Imo State ‘the Eastern Heartland’ is greatly endowed with enormous tourism assets, resourcefulness, products and structures”.
He commended the train of the hotel personnel as well as the executive of the ISHA for putting up the training.
Meanwhile, Chima Chukwunyere, the chairman of the Imo State Hoteliers Association informed that the hotel sector is the largest industry in the State and the second largest employer of labour after the state government, and as leaders in the sector, ” it is important to continue to train and develop ourselves , hence today’s leadership masterclass”.
Chukwunyere noted that the training would equip the hospitality leaders with the necessary leadership skills to run profitable and standard hotels; help hotel owners/managers to improve and maximize revenue, ensure that guests remain kings and as such, the must be properly taken care of by way of excellent services and also support the standardization and professional management of hotels in the state.
The Chairman said the training was in line with the belief ISHA executive that training is the only way to achieve excellence in service and return on investment and urged them to embrace the training and develop their respective hotels.