Dr Oludayo Gideon, Chairman, Aeroport Group of Companies, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to inculcate tourism as a subject into schools’ curriculum.
Gideon gave the advice during the Association of Tourism and Travel Writers of Nigeria (ATTWON)’s quarterly Tourism Parliament held in Lagos.
The theme for the programme was: “Rethinking Tourism Through The Nigerian Youths”.
According to Gideon, Nigerian tourism industry can only get a boost when the nation has a good future projections of training children early enough to develop passion and love for the industry.
“The industry is solely passion driven, considering the enormous challenges currently confronting the practitioners.
“ Tourism education should begin from primary schools to develop the needed passion to grow the industry early enough in children, so that, as they grow older, they remain resolute to develop the industry regardless of hinderances.
“For anyone to pursue a career in the tourism industry, it has to be passion driven,” he said.
Also, a professional Tour Guide, Anago Osho, noted that to reposition the tourism industry, Nigerian youths must be involved in decision and policy making.
He said this should be a deliberate move from government across all levels.
Osho noted that the youths’ capabilities should not be undermined in the industry as they had lofty ideas to advance the industry which is unknown to many.
Chiemezie Onyeneke, Founder, Tourism Afrikania, noted that rethinking tourism should be approached from the need to educate Nigerians on the essence of tourism.
Onyeneke said that for people to record good sales in tour packaging and other tourism products, Nigerians must be educated on the need for leisure.
He also urged tourism practitioners to always think outside the box on ways to continually advance the industry.
Cecilia Akapo, Client Manager, DLove Travels, said: “There is a huge gap existing between the mentors and the mentees in the tourism industry.
“This is wrong, we are purposeful youths, we need to be carried along by the older practitioners in the industry”.
In reaction to this, Mrs Ime Udom, National President, Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), urged the youth to always leverage on the existing information gathered by the older practitioners.
Udom said that youths also need to take advantage of the digital space to grow their tourism businesses
According to her, they should also be consumed by the thirst to turn their passion into business. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Vivian Ihechu