A hospitality company, Jethro Tours International has formally commenced the opening of tourism school in Ota, Ado/Ota Local government of Ogun State to assist the country with requisite manpower in harness tourism potentials.
The move was in line with partnership agreements it reached with with the Nigerian Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) from which it obtained a license open the institute.
Chief Executive of the company, Prince Adetunji Fadina, said his firm would work with NIHOTOUR to promote the cultural practices and historic sites in the state, especially in Ota become globally celebrated tourism destinations.
While canvassing the need to explore the tourism potentials of the state, he noted that many historic sites were located in the state, among them the second story building in Nigeria and the grave of biblical Queen Sheba in Ota and Ijebu axis.
Speaking at the event which was hosted to commemorate World Tourism Day, the Director-General of NIHOTOUR, Mrs. Chika Balogun, who was the Special Guest of honour, said a vital element of tourism was sustainability, adding that tourism was the fastest growing industry in the world today and a major contributor to the economic development many economies the world over.
The DG who was represented by the Deputy Director, Public Relations Alhaji Ahmed Sule, also said that the sector stimulated development in terms of income generation, employment opportunities, foreign exchange and taxation.
She however noted that the effective harmonisation of a country’s tourism potentials depends on functional infrastructures and vibrant administrative structures which she argued are imperative to the growth and development of its tourism industry.
In her keynote address with the theme “’Sustainable Tourism: a Tool for Development,” she stated that, ”economic opportunities in tourism are very massive as it is a catalyst for positive change when harnessed. It will boost economic growth for development.”
She also urged the government to intensify effort in creating an enabling environment for tourism, citing infrastructure as a key point to sustainable tourism development.
Amongst dignitaries at the event were the South-West Vice President of Federal Tourism Association of Nigeria, Otunba Ayo Olumokun; Chairman of the local government area, Oladele Adeniji, royal fathers from the town and its environs including Onijoko of Ijoko-Ota, Oba F.A. Matanmi and the representative of the Olota in Council, the Ekerin of Ota Land, High Chief Emmanuel Oshilabu among others.