Goge Africa has partnered with Sterling Bank Plc, Lagos State Government (LASG), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), and National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) to train operators in the tourism industry.
The initiative was part of efforts to equip operators with requisite knowledge and understanding required to operate successfully in the local tourism sector.
Goge Africa is a pan-African organisation specialising in arts, culture and tourism development and the showcase of Africa’s heritage to more than 40 million television viewers worldwide.
At the training programme held in Lagos recently, a statement quoted the Divisional Head, Retail and Consumer Banking with Sterling Bank, Mr. Shina Atilola, to have advised participants to find their niche and be different in using their strength to project the Nigerian tourism sector to the outside world.
He observed that the fundamental challenge to tourism development in Nigeria was the lack of pride in what we have.
“We rarely create travel experiences for tourists and do not project our tourist attractions and destinations that have much potential. It explains why Nigerians travel the world to go and pay for those things that are here in the country,” he said.
While acknowledging the challenges facing the domestic tourism sector, Atilola assured operators that funding would not be their problem. He disclosed that Sterling Bank would give them the necessary support because the bank is committed to developing the country’s tourism value chain.
He urged them to apply the knowledge they would get from the training to advertise and publicise the countries abundant tourist attractions and destinations and the exciting experiences on offer to lure visitors, increase footfalls and grow the business.
“Tourism is a social phenomenon which drives economic growth, inclusive development, and environmental sustainability. It is a powerful poverty reduction tool that presents exceptional opportunities to all, including the poor and disadvantaged.
“At Sterling, we are keen on leveraging its comparative and competitive advantages to grow the economy and lift rural and peri-urban families out of poverty,” Atilola concluded.
Chief Executive Officer of Goge Africa, Mr Isaac Moses, said about 630 people registered for the programme, but they could not take them all because of the COVID-19 protocols, which require social distancing.
He appreciated Sterling Bank, Lagos State Government, and other partners for working with Goge Africa to organise the training programme.