Tourism has continued to assume tremendous growth in recent years. Throughout the world, more people than it was ever thought possible travel for pleasure, business and the like within their own country and abroad. The impact of tourism felt all over the world, either as a generator or receiver of tourists or both has made tourism a catalyst for economic development and social well-being of the people. However, the full potentials of tourism cannot be realized without adequately trained manpower and professionalisation of the industry.
It is in view of the above that the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, the apex institution and professional career ladder for the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region was established in 1988. The agreement for the establishment of the Institute was signed between the Federal Government of Nigeria, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1987. Whilst the ILO was the executing agency of the UNDP, the NTDC was the implementing agency on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Tourism. The terminal report of its first phase showed that both the UNDP and the ILO were highly satisfied with the programmes of the Institute. In fact, they both regarded it as one of the best ILO projects of its type in the whole African continent.
To further consolidate the gains of providing for capacity building in the industry, the mother ministry handed over and merged to NIHOTOUR the Management of the famous ILO established Hotel and Catering Schools located at Benin, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos. This is to strengthen and widen the operational base providing labour for the industry at the geopolitical zones respectively.
The relocation of the Central Administration of NIHOTOUR to Abuja has added to the new campuses aside that of Bauchi and Osogbo whose set up is on going to commence training programmes in due course.
Since inception, the Institute has produced well over 5,000 skilled and craft trainees servicing the various sectors of the Nigeria’s Travel, Tourism and Hospitality industry. The Institute is striving to meet a training target of 2 to 3,000 and more trainees a year to meet the over 40,000 technical craft and skilled manpower required to service the travel, tourism and hospitality sector of the economy in the next three to five years.