By Jonathan Ugbal Follow @NaijaJonathan
The Calabar Hospitality House has become the first training center in South South Nigeria to be certified by the Institute for Tourism Professionals (ITP) as a diploma awarding institution.
The President of ITP, Chief Abiodun Odunsanwo who presented the certification plaque on Friday, in Calabar to the CHH team charged them to live up their responsibilities and train professionals in the tourism sector.
He encouraged practitioners to always develop their capacity through retraining and congratulated CHH head, Mrs. Justina Ovat following the confirmation of her nomination as a member of the institute.
This means that she can attach the acronym, “MITP” after her name.
Fielding questions from CrossRiverWatch, Mrs. Ovat said she is overwhelmed with joy as it took over two years for the certification to happen.
“CHH is the first approved Centre in South South Nigeria,” Ovat said, adding that she is; “very fulfilled as the criteria were very stringent.”
Cross River State is known for its tourism. And, Ovat said the CHH certification will have a positive impact on the sector in the state as more certified professionals will be available for practice.
“CHH will provide faculty and facilities for the training and the ITP will assess them through examinations and then certify them,” she said.
On its impact on the Cross River Economy, Mrs. Ovat averred that: ‘Cross River State is a foremost tourism destination rich with tour sites; both heritage sites and bio diversity hotspots. We can also boast of a good number of Tourism and hospitality facilities and establishments but not of skilled and professional manpower which makes the state not visitor ready.
“This initiative will ensure the availability of a constant pool of professional manpower with relevant industry related certifications across every level of the industry.”
Ovat is also an advisor to the Cross River State Government on Hospitality and Tourism. And, alongside the Managing Director of the State’s Tourism Bureau, Mr. Clement Umina; the General Manager, Corporate Services in the Bureau, Dr. Joe Ekeh; the Director, Tourism Development, Mr. Tony Bassey were all awarded membership certificates by the ITP president.
Meanwhile, Professor Bassey Esu of the Department of Hospitality Marketing in the University of Calabar was awarded a fellow of the institute.
This comes months after Cross Rivee Governor, Senator Ben Ayade had said the state will establish an international hospitality school in a partnership with the South African government.
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