Justina Ovat.

Justina Ovat
GM, Calabar Hospitality House Limited
6 years industry experience

 

 

 

In a few words tell us about yourself.

I’m the 3rd child in a family of 5 with parents who provided as much as they could afford, all the while encouraging us to go after our dreams. I’m now happily married with 3 kids. I graduated from the University of Calabar with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Literary Studies. I have a certificate in GM 101, I’m a Certified Hospitality Trainer and a Certified Guest Service Professional all from the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. I’m an alumnus of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Berlin and also have a certificate in Hotel Grading and Assessment. I’m currently a masters student at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.

What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?

Cross River State is blessed with tourism sites and infrastructure but still manages to not be visitor ready because of the use of cheap, untrained, unskilled and unprofessional manpower. It is my dream to produce and convert professional manpower for the industry.

What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry? 

To raise quality manpower.

In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and its stakeholders?

Calabar Hospitality House Limited has trained over one thousand persons, recruited over 500, employed over 50. We serve as principal consultants to the Cross River State Tourism Bureau and the Hoteliers Association Cross River State. We have trained Corp members and also students of the University of Calabar’s Entrepreneurship Development Center.

We are presently the only institute in Cross River State for Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Courses. In 2018 we got a distinction as the first and only Certified Guest Service Property in Nigeria as awarded by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute. We’re in partnership with the Hospitality Institute UK and an approved Centre of the Institute for Tourism Professionals.

What are your major challenges in your business?

The lack of industry knowledge by owners of Hospitality and Tourism establishments which is instrumental to the unwillingness to develop manpower in the industry.

What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria? 

The Hospitality Industry in Nigeria has done well so far but can do better with more synergy and harmonization of all its MDAs and support for the private sector.

How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria? 

I’ve already started by contributing my quota to raising quality manpower and this I believe wilk greatly impact the success of the industry as an esrablishment is only as good as its workforce. And I’m looking at loads to partnerships and collaborations to do more.

Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
The industry is the most interesting industry I’ve come across as it gives us countless opportunities to be creative so let’s get creative and convert interests to cash. Operate with a passion for the love of the industry.
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