FG inaugurates National Committee on accomodation standards

The Federal Government has inaugurated a National Multi-Disciplinary Committee to elevate accommodation standards in Nigeria.

Described as a significant step towards bolstering Nigeria’s tourism sector, the Multi-Disciplinary Committee on Classification and Grading of Tourist Accommodation Establishments which was officially inaugurated on Thursday in Abuja is chaired by the Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John.

The Committee comprising members from various sectors including tourism, health, and hospitality, marked the commencement of concerted efforts to enhance the quality and competitiveness of accommodation facilities across ECOWAS destinations.

The initiative aligns with the ECOWAS Tourism Policy and ECOTOUR 19-29 Action Plan, aimed at standardizing regulations and criteria to elevate the tourism industry in the region.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, emphasized the pivotal role of tourism in driving economic growth and job creation.

She highlighted Nigeria’s diverse attractions, ranging from natural wonders to cultural heritage sites and expressed optimism in the committee’s ability to establish internationally acceptable standards.

Representative of the ECOWAS Private Sector Directorate, Ms. Stella Christiane DRABO, outlined the necessity and objectives of the committee’s mandate. Citing the ECOTOUR 19-29 Action Plan, she stressed the need to increase the competitiveness of ECOWAS destinations to attract international tourists and generate revenue.

Key points discussed included the shortcomings of existing classification standards, such as limited categories and a lack of monitoring mechanisms.

Proposals for mandatory grading and classification, establishment of a regional monitoring mechanism, and digitalization of the classification process were also put forward to address these deficiencies.

In attendance were representatives from the hotel industry, including the President of the Nigeria Hotel Association, who pledged their support towards ensuring compliance with the new standards.

It was agreed that progress updates would be provided to the ECOWAS Free Trade Area (EFTA), underscoring the commitment to transparency and accountability.

The committee’s focus will include drafting detailed modalities for the implementation of regulations, with upcoming meetings scheduled for April in Abuja. These efforts aim to not only enhance the quality and homogeneity of tourist accommodations but also foster trust, competitiveness, and attractiveness across ECOWAS destinations.

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