Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr Osita Aboloma, said SON is currently working with stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector to produce safety guidelines for its reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
He spoke during the maiden virtual meeting of the working group of the Mirror Committee on Tourism and Related Services, to review the ‘Health and safety measures for tourism and hospitality establishments – Post pandemic resumptionstandards.’
He said though the sector had been adversely affected by the pandemic both within and outside the country, “the stakeholders’ collaboration is expected to oversee a comeback in the hospitality industry through deliberations on the draft safety standards and its eventual implementation.”
Aboloma who was represented by SON Director, Standards Development, Mrs Chinyere Egwuonwu, said the agency was ready “to work with stakeholders to ensure that tourism is revamped by facilitating its comeback when the current lockdown is finally relaxed by the government.”
However, technical secretary of the committee, Mrs Chidinma Ewuzie, in her presentation , said the proposed guidelines were aimed towards improving the safety of the employers and workers and prevention of a re-occurrence of the pandemic.
It would also boost the confidence of guests and employers and employees and as well to establish a monitoring control to limit the spread of COVID-19.
In a statement by Head, Public Relations, SON, Bola Fashina, she added that the framework would further enable the sector to comply with the guidelines for resumption and protection of lives and sustain the business.
She added, “The document applies to the tourism sector establishments including hotels, restaurants, fast foods, conferences/meetings/event centres, tour operatives/travel agents/tourist information centers, airlines, beaches among others.”
The chairperson of the committee/Director General, National Institute for Hotels and Tourism, Mrs Chika Balogun said at such a period of difficulty, stakeholders in the sector needed to put all hands on deck to see that they pull out of the challenges posed by the pandemic.