The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) and the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) have commenced a collaborative process of evolving a Professional Certification and Licensing Practice (PC & LP) guide framework for certified practice of professionals for the Hospitality, Travel-Tourism (HOTOUR) and related trades in Nigeria.

Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director General of NIHOTOUR who noted at the official unveiling of programs for the exercise in Abuja on Thursday, said that professional licensing and certification will not only inject sanity in the conduct and operations of personnel in the industry sector, but will also offer the practitioners the confidence in the acquisition of prerequisite qualifications that are graded and authenticated through competence test that are verifiable, reliable and acceptable for job placement in the industry.

While applauding that the licensing and certification will be carried out by government recognized bodies of NIHOTOUR and ITPN, with NIHOTOUR as a training provider and coordinator of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skill Council of Nigeria on the one hand, and ITPN as an awarding body on the other, Kangiwa called on stakeholders of both private sector operators and the academia to give the exercise the maximum support and cooperation it required to achieve the desired impact of proper certification and job placement as well as professionalizing the sector.

Earlier in his presentation to unveil programs for the exercise, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, National President of ITPN said that the need to have the professional certification for Hospitality and Tourism practice in Nigeria became imperative in view of the need to place practitioners in the industry on proper job cadres and designations commensurate with the qualifications and certification competency they acquired through professional and skill training as well as certificate of award earned and valid license to practice.

Chief Odusanwo who noted that other professional bodies have identifiable and authenticated approved professional training, certification and licensing that are recognizable and which are used for grading and job placement in their sectors, said he sees no reason why the Hospitality and Tourism sector which has very critical role to play in the economy of the country should be different and left out of the right scheme of things

He reeled out some of the mainstream programs and activities to be engaged in the Professional Certification for Hospitality and Tourism Practice in Nigeria to include Certified Tourism Professional (CTP) scheme as a pinnacle performance based recognition program to be awarded when an employee demonstrates mastery of required skills that meets standards of the profession in a practical job setting as well as writing an examination to prove his/her knowledge, culminating into an evaluation of their practical competence in a real-world setting.

The ITPN National President then stated the classes of Awards and designations of the Certified Tourism Professionals to be awarded as sets of class of categories of Course Programmes as well as the official designations that go with such awards after a successful completion of the certification requirements which includes, Frontline and job entry occupations- Certified Tourism Professionals (CTP)- an Occupational Knowledge ITPN Certificate; Supervisory positions for managing staff – Certified Tourism Professionals Supervisor (CTPS)- an Occupational Experience ITPN Certificate and Management Occupations- Tourism Certified Professional Manager (CTPM)- an Occupational Management ITPN Certificate.

The Professional Certification and Licensing further places the burden of supervising the National Database of Certified Practitioners (NDCP) on the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism as the Coordinator of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria to keep custody of the information of all certified professionals of the sector in Nigeria; make the database seemingly accessible to all stakeholders in the industry as well as regular update of records of registered members.

As a way of acquainting prospective students, practitioners and interested members of the public on the prospects of career and job opportunities inherent in the Nigerian Travel-Tourism, Hospitality and related trades, a National Tourism Career and Employment Expo is being put together by both NIHOTOUR and ITPN. With the theme; Harnessing the Versatile Tourism Career and Employment Opportunities in Nigeria, the expo is scheduled to hold from 25th to 26th April, 2022 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

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