1ST NATIONAL CONFERENCE ON HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM, ORGANIZED BY NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM, NORTH EAST CAMPUS BAUCHI AND DEPARTMENTS OF HOSPITALITY, MANAGEMENT AND LEISURE AND TOURISM MANAGEMENT, FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC, BAUCHI.
The Maiden Edition of the Annual Conference on Hospitality and Tourism, jointly organized by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Northeast Campus Bauchi and Departments of Hospitality, Leisure and Tourism Management, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi was successfully hosted and held in Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Bauchi State from 28th – 29th June, 2018. The theme of the National Conference was “Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurship and Vocational Education: A Panacea for Community Empowerment and Development in Nigeria”. The conference was peculiar and first of its kind in the Northeast as it focused centrally on issues relating to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
The 2-day conference had the presence of over 100 persons from different academic institutions and the industry across the country, especially from Bauchi, Plateau, Adamawa, Kaduna, Kano, FCT, Benue, Ogun States and FCT. The participants were from the Federal, State and Private institutions and hospitality and tourism outfits. The Rector, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Arch Sanusi Waziri Gumau was the chief host. The Commissioner for Culture, Tourism and Hospitality, Plateau State presided over the opening ceremony while the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Bauchi State was the Special Guest of Honor. Other dignitaries included Director-Generals and their representatives from National Council for Art and Culture, National Art Gallery, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism and stakeholders from reputable hospitality organization. The technical sessions were headed by Comrade Usman Dutse, the National President of ASUP and Dr. Dalhatu Saidu from Federal Polytechnic Bauchi.
Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed Chinade, the former Special Adviser on Hospitality and Tourism, Bauchi State delivered a well-articulated keynote address, titled ….. Three technical sessions were held and thirty-nine (39) participants presented papers on different and interesting aspects of Hospitality and Tourism and related fields. The conference actually commended the initiative, describing it as a pace-setter for the promotion of sustainable hospitality and tourism development and a step in the right direction for revamping the falling standards of practice in the industry in Nigeria.
Observations and Comments
After interactive sessions and brainstorming, participants noted the following challenges associated with the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Nigerian
- Inadequate enabling environment such as infrastructure and security challenges which undermine success and patronage in most parts of the country.
- Lack of political will and inadequate funding of the hospitality and tourism sector.
- Poor compensation scheme which creates low morale among workers, making them feel inferior compared to their counterparts from other professions.
- Inadequate facilities in training institutions capable of affording trainees the needed skills to excel and fit into global best practices
- Absence of functional apparatus for enforcing standards and quality service delivery, thereby giving room for proliferation of sub-standard hospitality and tourism enterprises
- Dare need for synergy among the industry, the academia and government so as to build a solid foothold for the hospitality and tourism industry that can contribute reasonably to sustainable economic growth
- Need for establishment of Emergency Health Center by lodging properties to take remedial measure in time of epidemics and other health emergency cases.
Recommendations and conclusions:
The following are the conclusion and main recommendations made after all the sessions and fruitful deliberations:
- Participants expressed serious concern about poor infrastructural facilities and deteriorating state of security militating against effective and efficient hospitality and tourism operations in the country. There must be a concerted effort by government with cooperation of other stakeholders to permanently address the increasing incidence of criminality and violence across the country, especially in tourism rich states like Bauchi, Plateau, Borno and Yobe States. Government intervention in ensuring adequate water supply, improved road maintenance and constant power supply can go a long way to boosting the Hospitality and Tourism Industry to become a mainstay of the Nigerian economy.
- Government is urged to allocate more resources for funding of organs and agencies such as NTDC and NIHOTOUR to afford them the opportunities to engage in regulation, standardization and training of practitioners for improved service delivery to position the Nigeria hospitality and tourism industry in global scheme. Similarly, the Polytechnics and Universities running Hospitality and Tourism Programmes should be well funded to provide practical based pedagogy and the academic staff of such programmes should be supported to attend both national and international conferences to acquire more skills and up to date knowledge.
- There must be a positive change of attitude and orientation of hospitality and tourism service providers in the way they treat their employees in terms of working conditions. Hotel workers are hardly given minimum wage that is capable of providing motivation. Employees should be considered as the internal customers who need to be treated with dignity.
- There should be functional machinery for enforcing standard of practice among hospitality and tourism entrepreneurs to check proliferation of sub-standard establishment. A collaboration between the governance and academia to actualize the long awaited classification of hotels and restaurants is very necessary and urgent.
- There should be an active participation by private individuals and companies in mobilizing resources to facilitate academic and research activities in Polytechnics and Universities offering Hospitality and Tourism programmes.
- In view of frequent break out of epidemics, there is need for establishment and enforcement of Health Emergency Center in every notable hotel that receives sizable number of tourists and travelers.
Dr. Adejoh A Matthew Murtala Muhammed Alamai
Chairman, LOC Secretary, LOC
HELD AT M L AUDU AUDITORIUM, FEDERAL POLYTECHNIC BAUCHI, 28TH – 29TH JUNE 2018