AKWAABA LOGOAkwaaba Immunity Caged Ebola, Showcased

Travel Exhibition Successfully

Despite the odds and the negative thoughts from some quarters to witness an unsuccessful travel trade exhibition popularly known as Akwaaba African Travel Market due to the prevailing situation on Ebola, the travel trade event surpassed all the wrong perspectives, hindrances and passed the test of the
day. 

Even though the impacts of the authorities concerned in Nigeria to champion the course of propagation that "Nigeria is Ebola Free" and certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) are not really felt, Akwaaba African Travel Market was still able to achieve its primary objectives of channeling tourism
advancement in Nigeria and across the Africa.

The only travel exhibition recognized by the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) did not only hold but rattled the critic with great amazement. The event was a great success as the exhibitors, stakeholders and visitors realised their main purpose of participating and attending the travel
exhibition.

The visitors were all dazed with pattern of the exhibition stands, planned in such a captivating design right from the entrance to the inner chamber of the exhibition hall. 

The visitors shortly after registration at the entrance are provided with "black arm band" as a mark of remembrance to the victims of Ebola with the provision of sanitizer to clean-up their hands as they sets for networking businesses within the exhibition arena. 

At the cutting of the tape to formally declare the 3-day event opened at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, the Special Guest of Honour, the Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mrs. Akon Eyankenyi lauded the initiative of the organizer for his selfless service and contribution on domestic tourism promotion in the country."Looking back at Akwaaba in the last 10 years, it means the positive impacts on domestic tourism advancement in Nigeria cannot be quantified", Eyankeyi said.

She stated further, "It is rather encouraging that at this crucial time when Ebola is seen as a global threat, the organizer still broke the barriers for the exhibitors, stakeholders and travel trade personalities to come under oneumbrella of Akwaaba to network and be updated on the latest development in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry".After the tape cutting, the special guest of honour visited all the exhibition stands where all the officials were privileged to brief the Minister, stakeholders, visitors and the media crew about their products, services and mission at Akwaaba African Travel Market.

ak8fb5890735In his welcome address, the organizer of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Mr. Ikechi UKo said, "Akwaaba African Travel Market was established 10 years ago to brainstorm on ways to promote and improve the travel tourism sector in West African"."Akwaaba is a popular word in the West Africa which translates to welcome in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire. Over the last nine years, Akwaaba has become the most important travel marketing platform in the region drawing 7,000 to 10,000 visitors from over 20 countries", Uko hinted.The highlights of the first day was the unveiling of the award winners at the Africa Travel Awards and the presence of members of the 'Women in Aviation' who were on ground to honour the first female pilot in Africa, Captain Irene Mutungi of Kenya Airways.

Among the winners at the Africa Travel Awards are; Asky Airlines who won the 'Best Short Haul Airline in Africa' and 'Best Short Haul Airline in West-Africa'; Arik Airline -'The Best Airline in West-Africa'; South African Tourism-'Best Tourism Marketing Agency'; Bole Airport Addis Ababa -'MostPassenger Friendly Airport in East Africa'; Cape Town Airport- 'Most Passenger Friendly Airport in Southern Africa'.Others are Obudu Mountain Resort- 'Best Resort in West Africa'; La Campagne Beach Resort- 'Best Beach Resort in West-Africa'; Ethiopian Airlines-'Best African Airline to West Africa'and 'African Airline of the Year'; Carnival Calabar bags the 'Best Event in West Africa' while Danny Kioupouroglou is the 'Hotel Manager of the Year-West Africa' award winner.

The second day of the event centred on networking among the exhibitors, stakeholders and the visitors as a way to tap from the ever expanding travel trade industry. Attesting the networking prospects at Akwaaba on the second day, the Managing Director, Swiss International Hotels & Resorts, Dr. Wasiu Babalola confirmed that despite the fact that Swiss Hotels is exhibiting for the first time, thehotel has been able to seal an impressive deal within its 24 hours presence at Akwaaba.

South Africa's tourism credentials as a leisure destination were put on full display at this year's Akwaaba travel and trade show. During the three day show, the South African Tourism team pulled out all stops to actively promoteSouth Africa's unique value proposition as a leisure destination to the West African traveller and trade.
South African Tourism used its time at AKWAABA to meet with the trade, present to them the destination's value proposition and, most significantly, cement deals which will see South Africa's destination offering bolstered in the consumer space.

In the same vein, the Head of Sales, RwandAir, Mrs. Ozavize Ogunmefun disclosed that RwandAir was at the event in recognition of Akwaaba as a networking and selling point in West Africa to showcase Rwanda tourism potentials to visitors and the high significance of flying RwandAir to choice destinations like Dubai, Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Libreville, among others."Rwanda presents excellent tourism assets ranging from the natural attractions such as the world famous mountain gorilla in the Volcanoes national Park, 13 species of primates in Nyungwe National Park, about 700 species of birds, flora including the orchids, to the unique culture and heritage that make it a desirable destination for all tourists", Mrs. Ogunmefun said.

The "Hospitality Day" on the last day of the exhibition commenced with the educative presentations where eminent hospitality experts, professionals and stakeholders presented papers on various hospitality related topics.The event reached climax during the 'Wine Tasting' where all the exhibitors, stakeholders and visitors present have a taste of various wine exhibited.

In his own view, the President, National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) and Chairman, REMLORDS Tours & Car Hire Services, Nkereuwem Onung reiterate the fact that Akwaaba has gone a long way in placing Nigeria on global tourism map and as an event really promoting domestic tourism advancement in Nigeria.
"We are at Akwaaba to showcase our various services as it evolves round tours and car hire services. Also, to enlighten business travellers and tourists that they can get their required Dubai Visa from us with a complimentary one night hotel accommodation", Onung hinted.

The Regional Marketing Manager, Kenya Tourism Board, Fatma Bashir said, "Nigeria in one of Kenya targeted markets to woo tourists to Nairobi, the only capital city in the world with a national park within its boundaries, making it a prime destination as well"."With all the souvenirs and '48 in Nairobi', our short guide to the magical city for the active traveller freely distributed at this event, it is my candid believe that Nigerians will further appreciate the tourism potentials in Kenya and visit to feel the power of "Magical Kenya", Bashir said.

Prominent among the exhibitors who showcased at this year Akwaaba are RwandAir; Kenya Tourism Board; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; De Edge Hotel Port Harcourt; South African Tourism; Swiss International Hotels & Resorts; REMLORDS Tours & Car Hire Services; Ethiopian Airlines; Samsung; Eko Signatures Hotel; PROTEA Hotels; Virgin Atlantic Airways; La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort; ASKY Airline; Africa Travel Association (ATA); ARIK Airlines; National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP).

Original source: http://www.travelscopeng.com/features_detail.php?pro_id=176