TOWARDS sustaining, and positioning the tourism and hospitality sector for enhanced socio-economic productivity in Anambra State, the Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism organised a public lecture and excellence awards for stakeholders in the hospitality in the state tagged, ”Anambra State Tourism and Hospitality Stakeholders Excellence Awards Ceremony 2021.
The event was also a platform to exhibit and showcase the services and products of many hospitality outfits in the state.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Indigenous Artworks, Culture and Tourism, Kenneth Anierobi, while highlighting the hospitality industry as a backbone of the tourism sector of any economy stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has had massive social and economic impact on the tourism and hospitality sectors.
The commissioner, who was represented by the director of the ministry, Emma Umeokana noted that the operators of the hospitality sectors have shown much resiliency and excellency in the face of this impact of COVID-19 pandemic and also has been in the forefront of the recovery process.
”Indeed, we are keen to support, encourage, motivate and recognise all the actors in the sector whose individual and collective efforts are necessary for the state to be able to release the vision for the state,” he said.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion Emeka Okonkwo, represented by Thomas Okonkwo said the hospitality industry is the only thing that shows that there is security in the state but faces many challenges.
”If you observed the happenings in the hospitality sector in the state in the last 18 months, arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, the insecurity challenges in the country and the recent political motivated violence, it has eaten deep into the sector but I assure you of bright future for the industry.”
He urged the stakeholders to make their customers leave their facilities with a smile on their faces.
In his presentation, the guest lecturer, in the Department of History and International Relations, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Dr Festus Onuegbu, in a paper, titled, Technology: A Game Changer in the Hospitality Industry said the link between technology and hospitality industry can’t be wished away.
He described technology as the base with which hospitality operates today that without it in modern time hospitality industry will be stagnated.
”What will make the hospitality and tourism experience eventful is technology. Technology is important, it makes the process more efficient, it helps in pushing the frontier of your business, the frontier of your profit. Taking your outfit to the outside world. There is no way a 21st century hospitality industry can make meaningful progress without technology, ‘he said.
In her remarks, Ag Director, Hotel and Hospitality, Stella Anah, acknowledging the role that hospitality industry plays in the state, noted that industry has more to offer in the development of the state.
“The hospitality industry is vital for an industrial state like Anambra. We implore the stakeholders to explore technology and innovations that will grow the industry for their productivity and the growth of the state.
She urged the stakeholders of Governor Obiano’s administration in assisting the industry for the overall development of the state.