GIFT EMMANUEL, Abuja
NIGERIAN Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has flagged off a nationwide inspection of hotels and other tourism enterprises beginning with the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and its environs.
The Director General of NTDC, Mrs Sally Mbanefo who disclosed this weekend in Abuja said the move was informed by the urgent need to assess the standards and quality of hospitality outfits in terms of service delivery.
Mbanefo noted that inspection of Hotels is an oversight function of the NTDC as the apex hospitality agency in the country charged with the responsibility of ensuring efficient and effective services for all tourists both domestic and foreign.
The NTDC boss added that the exercise would avail the Federal Government the opportunity to also ensure that facilities and operations of Hospitality and other tourism establishments conform to international best standards noting that hotel practices across the globe are the same and are rated based on internationally acceptable indicators.
The tourism helmsman explained that the Inspectorate is also meant to be a watchdog on Hospitality & Tourism Enterprises (HTEs) with the aim of ensuring and sustaining standards as the NTDC would use the platform to advise, guide and /or sanction defaulters accordingly.
She said tactics known in banking as “mystery shopping” have been used to catch the law breakers.
The Director, Hospitality and Travel Trade Department (HTT) Mrs Rae-Omoh as well as the head of the Inspectorate Division of the agency, Mr Ody Anumba told journalists that investigations so far carried by the agency revealed that a good number of hotels are operating secretly and below globally set standards.
The duo added that some fake tourism enterprises that specialize in defrauding the unsuspecting public in the guise of packaging foreign tours for them are in existence all over the country adding that it is the aim of the Inspectorate to ensure that such outfits are exposed and have their operators prosecuted accordingly.
It would be recalled that on assumption of duty last year, Mrs. Mbanefo promised to grow the Tourism Value Chain as part of her three-fold strategic imperatives.
It is expected that the mandate given to the Inspectorate will further complement the drive to ensure a viable hospitality industry.