By Priscilla Osaje, NAN.

The Minister of Tourism, Mrs Lola Ade-John, says her ministry has partnered with National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), to train community women on souvenir production.

Ade-John stated this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by Public Relations Officer of NIHOTOUR, Joesef Karim.

According to her, such initiative is in line with its newly introduced sustainable tourism entrepreneurship programme called ‘EcoGenesis Incubator’.

Ade-John said the training was specifically designed for women and youths, who were residents in Nigeria’s tourism host communities across the six-geopolitical zones of the country.

According to her, the objective of the training is to empower people with occupational skills, as well as lifting many out of poverty by harnessing touristy opportunities inherent in tourist host communities.

“The first series of the ‘EcoGenesis Incubator’ programme will be the training and empowerment of women on tourism souvenirs production, specifically in jewellery making and rhinestone embellishment.

“It is scheduled to hold in Makurdi, Benue state from March 14 to 15.

“The trainees will be given tourism entrepreneurial starter-packs, to enable them to start their personal jewellery making and rhinestone embellishment businesses targeting visitors and tourists,” she said.

The minister charged women to utilise opportunities in the tourism economy to boost their status.

She added that ‘EcoGenesis Incubator’ was a tailored Nigerian tourism enterprise development programme, designed specifically for women and youths.

“The training and empowerment initiatives will be conducted in rural areas across Nigeria.

“This programme aims to facilitate the emergence of local tourism businesses and service offerings, fostering sustainable development in the country.

“We are dedicated to forge partnerships with key stakeholders, including the private sector, state governments and local communities.

“It is to also cultivate distinctive Nigerian tourism offerings and elevate Nigeria as a premier tourism destination,” she said.

The minister added, “The EcoGenesis Incubator programmes will be delivered in a series across the 36 states and the FCT with increasing number of trainees and empowerment packages next week.

“Every state in Nigeria has unique hospitality and tourism potential, the EcoGenesis Incubator trainings will be tailored to the peculiarity of the state’s tourist destination offerings,”she said.(NAN)

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