The Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), an innovative initiative by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) for re-skilling and upskilling women and youths with tourism and hospitality occupational trades with training, and empowerment, recently held in some States across Nigeria.

Specifically, the STEP trainings held in Lafia, Nasarawa State; Makurdi, Benue State; Ayetoro, Ogun State; and Enugu, Enugu State. The latest STEP interventions were delivered in different days – from 2nd to 30th August 2023. A total of Three Hundred and Thirty persons were trained.

Recall that, last year, in October 2022, the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), under the leadership Nura Sani Kangiwa – the Director General, created a tourism entrepreneurial support program for indigent women and youths in Nigeria. The intervention program was christened Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship Programme, STEP for short!

Consequently, between 3rd to 23rd December 2022, NIHOTOUR’s STEP trained 400 women and youths, in 10 States across Nigeria, on various hospitality and tourism trade-skills including Throw-pillows and Duvet Making, as well as training in Soap making and related antiseptics. On completion of the training, trainees were given relevant business starter-packs and financial support, to jump-start their trade in the industry.

At the launch of the Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) intervention in December 2022, the Management of NIHOTOUR promised to sustain the program and to extend it, over time, to every State in Nigeria. This year, in keeping to the promise, NIHOTOUR’s Sustainable Tourism Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP) has been training and empowering indigent and rural women and youths in tourism and hospitality sectors’ skill-gaps. Different training packages and modalities are being delivered including Training-of-Trainers and direct-recipient occupational skill trainings.

So far, NIHOTOUR STEP interventions held Train-the-Trainer programmes in Bauchi State, from 23rd to 24th August 2023; and Enugu State from 25th to 26th August 2023. Earlier in Lafia, a training session took place on August 16th to 17th, 2023, where 80 participants were trained in Tailoring/Duvet up-skilling, and another 70 participants received training in Tour Guiding Skills and tradecraft. Similarly, in Ayetoro, Ogun State, a training session on on Baking and Pastries held on 2nd and 3rd August 2023, with the participation of 80 individuals.

In the coming weeks, NIHOTOUR STEP Train-the-Trainers intervention will be organised for rural women and youths in Argungu, Kebbi State and Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

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