The Director General of National Institute for Hospitality and tourism (NIHOTOUR) Alhaji Nuhu Kangiwa has noted that Nigeria’s competitiveness, as an emerging African tourist destination, would depend on both developing the human capital in the industry and massively promoting her as a country with some of the best Cultural Tourism offers on the content.
According to him, Cultural Tourism relates to a destination’s unique culture, traditional practices, festivals, foods, history, and all facets of the indigenous peoples’ way of life which are attractive and therefore worth experiencing by visitors and tourists. Hence, Gastronomy Tourism ranks high for Nigeria because of the ethnic diversity as the country is conservatively estimated to be over 300 ethnic groupings spread across the six major geopolitical zones.
Alhaji Kangiwa pointed out that when he assumed duty as the Director General of National Institute for Hospitality and tourism (NIHOTOUR) on the 1st of September 2020, one of the core areas he sought to build capacity for Nigeria’s Tourism is in Gastronomy Tourism and this is the reason behind Gastronomy Festival.
Alhaji Kangiwa noted that the maiden event was held on June 18th, 2021, and this was followed by the second one on June 18th, 2022 and the response of the industry stakeholders, businesses, students, and enthusiasts have been remarkably heart-warming and enormously encouraging and Gastronomy Tourism can significantly, grow Nigeria as a leading domestic and inbound Africa destination for Cultural Tourism.
He said the past two NIHOTOUR Gastronomy Festivals were great as and over 1000 different foods and beverages were showcased while over 5000 attendees comprising stakeholders, Captains of Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as members of the public and with conscious effortd to ensure improvement on each of the editions and the third edition with the theme Culnary Arts: The gateway to growing tourism destinations ‘ coming up on June 17, 2023 in Abuja , will be the biggest ever and most eclectic Gastronomy Festival in Nigeria.
“”In this third edition, our desire is to pull all the stops to make the 2023 Gastronomy Festival unforgettable; and indeed, a leading Gastronomy Festival event in the Sub-Saharan Africa. This year’s Festival will witness exhibition of Nigerian foods and beverages by NIHOTOUR and other leading restaurant franchises. There will also be international cuisines showcased by foreign missions in Nigeria, culinary art display of Knife Skills, Fruit Carving, Cake Decoration, eclectic Nigerian cultural display and so on. ” Kangiwa explained.
He added that outstanding individuals who have contributed immensely to the development of Hospitality and Tourism sectors in Nigeria will be honoured with the prestigious NIHOTOUR Fellowship. Some activities have also been lined up leading to the event these are cooking competition amongst culinary schools and the famous “Jollof War” by select West African chefs.