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Countdown to 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market

...as Nura Kangiwa, Segun Runsewe headline conferences, training

Turaki Nura Kangiwa, director general, National Institute of Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), will be the guest speaker at this year’s Hospitality Day on November 30, 2021. It will be his first Akwaaba as director general. He will be supporting Segun Runsewe, director general, National Council for Arts and Culture, who will be the special guest. NIHOTOUR was a pioneer exhibitor at Akwaaba African Travel Market in 2004 with Munzali Dantata, its former director general as a guest.

Recently Akwaaba went into a partnership with NIHOTOUR for the training of tourism professionals in Nigeria. The two-day travel market will have exhibitors from Dubai, Ghana, Gambia, Nigeria and East Africa. It will be smaller in size than the 2019 edition as organisers seek to impose Covid-19 protocols on the event. The Hospitality Day is making a comeback to Akwaaba as it was last held in 2016. At this year’s Hospitality Day various issues will be treated by experts.

Turaki Nura Kangiwa will speak on “How to Scale Hospitality Training to Meet International Standards”. A panel that will include; Tana Forsuelo of Wavecrest, Victor Kayode of NHCI and Justina Ovat, president, Women in Hospitality Nigeria, will treat the topic appropriately.

How have hotels helped the tourism industry recover from the pandemic lockdown? This is a hot issue and Amaechi Ndili, president, Golden Tulip Hotels West Africa, will be speaking on “The Role of Hotels in the Leisure Economy & Tourism Recovery”.

Since the 2013 Supreme Court judgment that took away the powers of the Federal Government to regulate tourism, how has the industry responded? What are the grey areas and what should the practitioners do? Sam Alabi, chairman BOT, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, a lawyer, will speak on “The Limits of State Regulation of Tourism and Hospitality Businesses”.

The fallout of that judgment is on hotel classification. That topic will be discussed by the stakeholders and the three states that have made very serious attempts at organising their hotel environment. The topic: “State Registration and Classification of Hotels: The Journey So Far” will be handled by Badaki Aliyu, first national deputy president of FTAN.

Professor Wasiu Babalola, senior vice president for Africa, Continent Worldwide Hotels, Eric Anderson the Commissioner of Tourism Cross River State, Ini Akpabio chairman, Akwa Ibom Hotel and Tourism Board and Princess Adenike Adedoyin, permanent secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts & Culture, are among the eminent speakers.

Read also: Brand Africa to recognize and rank the “Best Places in Africa” for tourism, investment and citizen mobilisation in Africa

The African Travel Market will begin on November 29, 2021 with the Youth Tourism Panel. The panel consists of the champions and pioneers of domestic tourism in Nigeria. They are expected to share their experiences on how they started and how they survived the challenges and the future plans. The panel will have the pioneer of Instagram Tourism Promotions in Nigeria, Chiamaka Obuekwe, CEO of Social Prefect Tours.

She will be joined by Bolaji Seun of Naija Explorers, Dr. Onifade Adekunle Eedris of Universal Aviation School, Aminat Akanbi CEO of Triplisters, Cordis Marianuela Umeokoli CEO of Mardis Travels and Sam Adeleke of Travel With Sam Global. The Session will be moderated by Obinna Emelike, Tourism and Art Editor, BussinesDay Newspapers. Olugbenga Sunday Omotayo, promoter of Idere Hills in Oyo State, will also share his experience on how he moved from Hotel Management to Destination Manager.

The second panel will be on “Outbound Tours & Travel Tears” What are the Challenges Tour Operators go through in handling international Tours? How can they be handled? A high level panel from the two leading travel associations of NATOP and NANTA will treat the issue.

The panelists will include the current president of NANTA, Susan Akporiaye and will be moderated by the Vice President of NATOP and Lagos Coordinator FTAN, Ime Udo. Other Panelists are David Lamidi, the Co-Founder of Diamond and Pearl Travels, Shalom Asuquo -Ankoh of Travel Lab, Cecile Doumbe of CMD Tours, Odion Chigbufue of Tour Brokers International, TBI, Egbane Pelagie, the Chief Experience Curator 3Cords Leisure and Vacation and Gbenga Onitilo of Wakanow.

The 2nd Batch of the Nigerian Tourism Specialist Certificate course, NTSC, will also be held on Monday. The Top 20 Natural Wonders of Nigeria, the Naija7wonders will be unveiled on Tuesday November30, 2021 by some Special Guests. The Special Guests are the three members of Tourism 100 Club who were recently upgraded by the government and their association.

They are Princess Surah Animashaun who got elected as chairman, EPE LGA, Piriye Kiriyamo who has been appointed as the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism to the Governor of Bayelsa State and Nkereuwem Onung who got elected as the president of the Tourism Federation in Nigeria.

The exhibitions will end with the usual celebrations of Lagos Day at Akwaaba, and because of the pandemic rules, the Lagos Day will not be as elaborate as expected. The Hosted Buyer packages and Boat Cruise will not hold as usual but delegates will be hosted on December1, 2021 to the opening ceremony of the Greater Lagos Fiesta by Lagos State Government.

International Delegates at Akwaaba African Travel Market will be guests at the Annual African Movie Academy Awards AMAA taking place November 28, 2021.

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