Cross River State Commences Licensing of Tourism And Hospitality Operators

In Breaking News, Business & Economy, National News, Reports

by crossriverwatch admin

Special Adviser, Tourism Development, Barrister Wilfred Usani
Special Adviser, Tourism Development, Barrister Wilfred Usani

The Governor of Cross River, Senator Liyel Imoke, has formally approved the commencement of the Tourism Standards Authority (TOSA) licensing regime in the state, effective 1st November, 2013. This follows adoption of the new Licensing Regulations by the Cross River State Executive Council in March 2013.

TOSA, an enforcement unit of the Standards & Licensing department of Cross River State Tourism Bureau, will lead the drive to ensure that all tourism operators, including hotels, restaurants, bars, tour operators, event managers, attractions and transporters, are properly registered and licensed.

In order to be licensed, operators must meet the minimum requirements of the Licensing Regulations, which stipulate the standards necessary for conducting business in the tourism industry.

The newly-formed stakeholders partnership, Cross River Tourism, has fully endorsed the new licensing regime despite the challenges it will bring for some of its members. Its chairman, Special Adviser, Tourism Development, Barrister Wilfred Usani, is optimistic about the changes:

He said: “By partnering with the government, stakeholders are taking responsibility for the development of tourism in Cross River. Ultimately, this drive to improve standards across the sector will be more effective, as self-regulation will work alongside government regulation simultaneously.”

In a similar vein, the Chairman, Cross River Hoteliers Association, Mr Charles Ogar said, “The hospitality industry can look forward confidently to better quality service and higher visitor satisfaction. The constant dialogue between stakeholders of Cross River Tourism, the Tourism Bureau and the Department of Tourism Development is evidence of the government’s commitment to the growth and development of the tourism industry.”

The Managing Director, Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr Michael Williams, added “We are pleased that licensing has commenced finally. We have been offering guidance and training to stakeholders for the last two years, to ensure that they would be ready for this new regime and not be surprised when enforcement begins. And this will continue with the launch of the new hospitality college later this month, providing training in hospitality management, culinary arts, tour guiding and other services, in line with globally accepted standards.”
The Bureau’s General Manager, Standards & Licensing, Mrs. Nkechi Usani, in reiterating the department’s preparedness to implement the licensing regime effectively, stated, “Our assessors are prepared to work with stakeholders to ensure that their establishments meet the minimum requirements necessary for the issuance of their operating licenses.”

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