• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

NATOP beams searchlight on Kwara’s tourism potential

Understanding Ilorin’s complex history: A plea for accurate representations and unity

The Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) has expressed commitment at marketing tourism attractions in Kwara State.

Ime Udo, national president, NATOP, disclosed the positive development during a virtual media briefing in Lagos on Friday.

She noted further that the association would use its 8th annual general meeting slated to hold in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, from July 17-20, 2024, to create awareness for the tourism potential of the state as well as market them to global tourists.

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Udo explained that the essence of marketing the tourism potential, especially sites, was to attract local and international tourists to the state and in particular, the ancient city of Ilorin.

According to her, the association is in partnership with the Kwara State Government to host the AGM.

“It has always been our tradition to host our AGM in different states of the federation to deliberately put searchlights on the tourism potential in each state.

“We have plans to market most of the sites in Kwara State as a choice destination for local and global visitors.

“We will be visiting Sobi Hills, Owu Falls, the University of Ilorin Zoological Garden and iconic places where local fabrics of Aso-oke are made.

“We were in Ekiti last year. We did the same marketing for the state and we are set to do it again in Kwara this time,” she said.

According to Udo, the eagerness of many states to host NATOP’s annual AGM, is a testament to the success of previous AGMs.

The theme for this year’s AGM, according to Udo, is “Tourism as Catalyst for Progress, Peace and Partnership”, and it was coined to address salient issues of insecurity and the need for industry players to improve on collaborations.

Speaking further on the AGM, Bolaji Mustapha, deputy national president of NATOP, who also doubles as the chairperson, Planning Committee for the AGM, said July 18, 2024 would feature a conference at the Banquet Hall, GRA, Ilorin.

According to her, the conference will have a keynote speaker address important issues in the industry, as well as panel sessions.

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“On July 19th, we will have the city tour of Ilorin, while every delegate returns to their destinations on July 20th.

“As tour operators, we want to encourage Nigerians to travel within the country. That is the reason we go the extra mile to identify hidden tourism sites and promote them.

“During the AGM, we will have local government areas showcase all their cultural and tourism endowments so that all tour operators present will be better informed on what to market.

“We are set to open up Kwara State for tourism,” she concluded.