… SAYS TRAINING IN LINE WITH TOURISM MASTERPLAN IMPLEMENTATION
Lagos State Government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, has commenced six weeks of free training that would expose potential tour guide practitioners to acceptable and professional ways of giving visitors worthwhile experiences anytime they visit Lagos State.
The Commissioner for the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Pharm. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf while speaking at the commencement of the training programme at Jaekel House, Railway Compound, Ebute-Metta area of the State, said that 150 beneficiaries have been identified for the training in partnership with a training and tourism consultant, Dr. Adun Okupe.
The training programme, according to the Commissioner, was initiated to enhance visitors’ experience, contribute to the attractiveness of Tourism destinations, create employment opportunities for potential tour guides and positively impact the GDP of the State.
She said: “Our 6-weeks tour guide training programme is designed to equip current and future tour guides with the necessary tools to design and guide tours. The skills and knowledge gained from the programme can also be used in other customer-facing sectors of the tourism industry, thereby contributing to the development of the tourism industry in the State. “
Speaking on the expectations of the State Government from the trainees, the Commissioner informed that at the end of the programme, participants should understand both basic and more advanced principles of the tourism industry and the role of a tour guide based on the latest research and global practices.
“They should understand and appreciate the culture and heritage of Lagos State, as well as the key tourist attractions within the State; Develop the necessary skills to design and implement private and group tours.
“Foster a culture of innovation through high-level engagement with other tour guides and tourists, with a focus on enhancing the visitor experience; Explore opportunities within the tourism industry to positively impact the local environment and communities in Lagos among others”, the Commissioner added.
She said that since the State Government is making efforts to promote domestic tourism and market tourism sites in the State to tourists across the world, it was imperative to have a standardized structure in place which will enable tour guides to attend to tourists professionally.
She affirmed that tourism remains a weapon that can be used to eradicate poverty, saying that the State Government is in the process of optimizing the usage of the State’s tourism potentials.
“One of the things we are trying to do is to empower the people to be sure that they have the right skills to promote tourism in Lagos State. I hope that at the end of this training, we would have been able to deliver on these expectations.
” We have thousands of people that troop into Lagos every time, every day but they don’t know where to go, they don’t know where the tourist sites are located and they don’t know the State’s tourism potentials, this development, underscores the need to have professionally trained tour guide operators in place who would fill this gap.”
She challenged the tour guide trainees to be determined to give tourists the best of experience that they desire such that visitors to the State would love to revisit Lagos several times again.
Citing the instance of the warm reception received in some developed climes like Dubai right from the Airport as well as how pilgrims to the Holy Land of Israel, Jerusalem and Mecca usually enjoy professional tour experiences from tour guides, the Commissioner urged the trainees to take a cue from these cities.
“So when you have visitors to Lagos State, attend to them professionally and courteously, take them through all the necessary experiences that will show them that love of our nation and of our state and of the community that they visit.”