Mallam Farouk Salim, Director General of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said standardisation and quality assurance are critical to the growth and development of Nigeria’s tourism industry.
Salim, who stated this in Abuja as the lead paper presenter at the 16th International Conference of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN), tasked practitioners in the hospitality and tourism industry to participate in national and international standardization fora to develop hospitality products and services that meet with current taste and preferences of the stakeholders in the industry.
Delivering a paper entitled, “Quality Assurance: The Hallmark for Viable Hospitality and Tourism Enterprises,” he identified tourism as one of the fastest-growing industries in the world and the backbone of every economy.
Salim represented by the Director, of Management Systems Certification, Engr, Felix Nyado, explained that because the tourism industry is products and service-oriented, service quality is key to success and competitive advantage for the industry.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mrs. Foluso Bolaji, Director, Public Relations, SON.
He informed participants at the event that SON has made available 44 published International Standards for the tourism sector and that Nigeria is registered as a participating member of ISO/TC 228 (Tourism and Related Services).
He further explained that SON engages stakeholders in the sector on standards elaborations and calls for more involvement from stakeholders in the sector.
He also urged stakeholders to comply with standards and quality assurance activities to meet the expectations of their customers and deliver satisfactory values that would improve their business profitability and enhance competitiveness.
He said some of the challenges confronting the tourism and hospitality sector include poor infrastructure, epileptic power supply, and high cost of diesel, among others.
The SON’s boss called on practitioners in the industry to use their credible social media platforms to collaborate with SON to further explore and promote Nigeria’s tourism potential to the rest of the world and make the nation a top priority for tourists.