As air fares to destinations outside Nigeria continue to skyrocket, local destinations in Nigeria have started to introduce new services at affordable rates to attract prospective Nigerians tourists and travellers.
Some of these destinations include Calabar with its annual Calabar Carnival, Ekiti State with it Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort and several others.
Bassey Otu, the Governor of Cross River State, who declared the event open, used the Akwaaba Travel Market to unveil the theme of the Carnival Calabar for 23 entitled: ‘Season of Sweetness’.
He said, “Today, we are here to witness another theme unveiling, which stands our carnival out as an intellectual platform to entertain, educate, and inform our publics and audiences”.
Otu also seized the opportunity of the gathering to explain to participants what the Calabar Carnival is all about and the activities performed during the carnival which includes amongst others colourful parades, acrobatics and magic through 12 kilometre routes.
He emphasised that, his administration is poised to ensuring the carnival is sustained, adding that more private sector participation would receive a boost.
“It is the belief of my administration that the Carnival has come of age and should deploy all efforts at sustainability and inclusion to achieve set goals exploring a robust Public Private Partnership framework to achieve mutually beneficial relations”.
The Governor disclosed that, he has directed that the children’s carnival, aqua show and the exciting and colorful Night of Kings and Queens to return to the Carnival Calendar to create more opportunities for sponsors visibility
He commended the organizer, Ambassador Ikechi Uko for his consistency and sustaining the market for 19 years.
Also speaking at the event, Florence Ita Giwa, the chairperson of The Carnival Calabar and a promoter of African Cuisine,I said, in Cross River State, the dances during the carnival are not just ordinary dance but a dance laced with meanings and to send messages or educate people about specific issues like climate change, industrialisation, effects of coastal erosions and children amongst others
“My greater joy today is that, we have a man that comes from where the carnival started, a Calabar man that understands the carnival and today, through Cross River State Nigeria has found a place in the world social calendar”.
Ikogosi Warm Springs Resort, Ekiti State offers tour of the only confluence of cold and warm water springs in the world, hiking, over 70 world class rooms, camping and an aqua thermal pool.
The 19th Akwaaba African Travel Market on Sunday, 3rd September, 2023 opened with pomp and ceremonies at the Eko hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The opening ceremony was filled with colourful activities from the electrifying dance moves of the Calabar Carnival dancers, the Lagos State talking drummers, the mascot on display amongst others.
Also adding colours to the opening event were exhibitors with the colourful, beautifully decorated stands and painstakingly arranged leaflets, cultural and handcraft materials and products to catch the attention of participants.
Highlights of the opening was the presentation of the Travellers awards to deserving individuals and organisations.