The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Nura Sani Kangiwa has stated that hiking and other forms of adventurous activities on the natural formations of the Jos Plateau is a potential mobiliser of sport, adventure and eco-tourism for the growth and development of tourism of the plateau creating jobs and empowering youths with its attendant multiplier effects on the economy of the state.
Kangiwa who made the statement during an adventure hiking tour of Ganwan Columnial Basalt Rock Formations in Riyom, Plateau state by participants of training workshop on tour guiding captioned; Promoting Eco-Tourism and Hiking in Nigeria, said God has endowed the state with natural scenic beauties of Waterfalls, Rock formation, plateau plains, lush vegetation among others, which if properly harnessed, can empower the people and curb youth restiveness by being a source of great revenue earning for government and income generation for the people of the state.
The Director General who was vividly elated by the warm reception and hospitable manner of members of the communities in the area visited, said the people should be carried along in the tourism development plans of the tourist sites as major players and critical stakeholders of the sector to achieve the much desired Community Based Tourism for Plateau state.
Also speaking during the hiking tour, Arch. Isaac Sanda, Chairman of Trustees of the Wayfarers of Jos, Hiking and Adventures Club, called on government to provide the enabling environment such as access roads, proper documentation of the tourist sites, and incentives for the local communities, noting that this will go a long way in harnessing the tourism potentials that the state is endowed with for the overall economic benefits of both the government and the people.
Arch. Sanda further noted that frequent hiking and adventurous activities at the tourist sites of riyom rock formations and waterfalls will improve the growth and development of community based tourism and empower the local communities economically, stressing that stakeholders and key players in the industry should up their game in the marketing and promotion of the country’s tourism potentials for both local and global patronage.
Mrs. Ime Udo, President of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), said she was highly impressed by the breath-taking scenic beauty, awesome Riyom Columnial Basalt rock formations that Plateau state is endowed with, noting that members of her association will seize the opportunity of marketing these unique tourism potentials to attract local and inbound tourists to the sites.
On behalf of Members of NATOP, Mrs. Udo expressed her appreciation to the Management of NIHOTOUR, under the leadership of Nura Kangiwa, for the opportunity given them to acquire the requite knowledge on tour guiding during the workshop as well as the opportunity availed them to tour the natural scenic attractions of Plateau state and the leisure adventure of hiking on the Riyom Rock Formations.