By Charles Nwaoguji
To mitigate the harrowing effect of the Coronavirus pandemic on the Tourism Industry, the National Mirror Committee on Tourism recently met to find a common ground for post Covid 19 and to forge a way forward in reviving the Industry.
The Working Group of the Mirror Committee on Tourism and related Services met online to review the Health and Safety Measures for Tourism & Hospitality Establishments – Post Pandemic (Covid-19) Resumption Standards.
The Chairperson of the Committee and the Director General of the National Institute for Hotels and Tourism Mrs. Chika Balogun said at a difficult period like this, stakeholders in the Tourism sector need to put all hands on deck to see that they pull out of the challenges put forth by the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said Nigeria is not the only Country affected but Global effect and that is why SON through the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has deployed Standards for Organisations to keep the Virus at bay by minimizing the spread.
Mrs. Balogun further stated that the draft Standards on Health & Safety Measures for Tourism & Hospitality Establishments – Post pandemic (Covid-19) resumption guidelines will help the Tourism sector pick up eventually when the lockdown is being eased off by the government.
She thanked members for their commitments and dedication to the National Mirror Committee to see that Nigerian Tourism sector is at par with their counterparts on the global scene.
Welcoming members to the first sitting after the ease of lock down by the Presidential Task force on Covid, the Director, Standards Development, Mrs. Chinyere Egwuonwu noted that the Tourism sector has been adversely affected by the Pandemic both within Nigeria and globally, National Mirror Committee was expected to oversee a comeback by the sector through deliberations on the draft Standards and the eventual implementation.
Represented by the Group Head, Service Standards; Engr. Ayoola Ololade, the Director stated that SON was ready to work with Stakeholders to see the Tourism revamped by ensuring all is put in place for activities to pick when the lockdown is eased.
In a short presentation titled “Health and safety measures for Tourism and Hospitality establishments for Post Covid 19-Pandemic, Mrs. Chidinma Ewuzie the Technical Secretary to the National Mirror Committee gave the reasons for the guidelines on the Reasons for this is to improve on the safety of the Employers and workers and prevention of a re-occurrence of the pandemic, and to boost confidence of Guests and Employers & Employees and to establish a monitoring control to limit the spread of a pandemic.
The draft Standards on Health & Safety Measures for Tourism & Hospitality Establishments – Post Pandemic (Covid -19) Resumption standards specified requirements for Tourism and Hospitality establishments to enable them comply with the guidelines for resumption and protection of lives and sustain the business.
The document applies to Tourism Sector establishments such as Hotels, Restaurants, Fast Foods, Conferences/meetings/Event centers, Tour Operatives/Travel Agents/Tourist Information Centers, Airlines, Beaches amongst others.
The online meeting had in attendance members drawn from; The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria, Institute of Tourism Professionals, Association of Tourism and Hospitality Consultants in Nigeria, Institute of Hospitality UK, National Association of Catering Institute/ Lagos State Post Covid-19 Pandemic Review Committee, Gadeshire Travels and Tours Limited Nigeria, Goge Africa, Hotel Human Capital and W. Hospitality.