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Akwaaba African travel market to honour top 100 hotels in Nigeria

By  Maria Diamond
30 October 2021   |   2:13 am
All over the world, hospitality and tour operations were the biggest victims of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and Nigeria had its share of the hit, which shut down the economy.

The Calabar Carnival Dancers at the Christmas Carnival in Cross River State.

All over the world, hospitality and tour operations were the biggest victims of COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, and Nigeria had its share of the hit, which shut down the economy.
  
Therefore, to re-energise the market and bring the industry back to life, the organisers of Akwaaba have chosen to recognise the big hotels in Nigeria to connect them to the tour operators that would create the needed synergy to renew the leisure economy.
  
The event will profile and honour top 100 hotels in Nigeria by room numbers. Scheduled to take place at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites from November 29-30, 2021, Akwaaba 2021 pledges to reconnect delegates with the industry’s leading players and join forces to get tourism back on its feet.
  
The two-day event will draw experts from Africa and Nigeria to expose and dissect relevant topics at the event. One of its organisers, Ikechi Uko, said: “Because of the effect of the pandemic, Akwaaba is dedicating this year’s event to hospitality and leisure economy as well as their capacity to heal. The event will serve as an avenue for unveiling the shortlist for the seven Natural Wonders of Nigeria.

The Naija7Wonders presentations session would help delegates discover new destinations in Nigeria.” The search for the Seven Wonders of Nigeria was launched last year to draw attention to the tourism attractions in Nigeria.

A150 top tourism practitioners in Nigeria, who are all members of the elite group of Tourism 100 Club were put together as committee by the organisers of Naija7Wonders to handle the search. The committees shortlisted 35 destinations for the public to choose from and the winners will be announced at Akwaaba.
  
Delegates will meet new suppliers and solutions that will help the firms emerge more efficiently and gain long-term competitive advantage. They will learn about trends and new market developments presented by industry experts with Q&A sessions through the Meetings, incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (M.I.C.E) training and Tourism Specialist Certificate Course.

There will be training on M.I.C.E and a Specialist Certificate ourse on Tourism in Nigeria. There will be discussions and panels on hospitality and standardisation in Nigeria. Delegates will meet a wide range of champions from Nigeria and beyond in person and in a safe environment. Delegates will also utilise the close connections and partnerships with industry representatives and organisations from all over Nigeria to further extend their business network.    

  
Akwaaba has, over the years, become the meeting place for travel and tourism professionals in Africa. It has drawn attendance from over 20 nations. Many VIPs have graced the event in the past including former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of The Gambia, the late Dawda Jawara, former Vice President of Nigeria the late Alex Ekwueme, former Secretary General of the Commonwealth of Nations, Sir Emeka Anyaoku, former Governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Cross River State Senator Liyel Imoke and Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State.

Serving ministers of tourism from Ghana, Gambia, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Seychelles have all attended past editions of Akwaaba. The current President of South African Football, Dr. Danny Jordaan had made a presentation at Akwaaba.
  
Leading hotels, airlines and destinations, including Dubai, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Egypt, Kenya, Gambia, Benin, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Libya, United States, Spain and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (UK) had all participated in the African Travel Market.
  
Akwaaba had been so successful that it started another event in Ghana, the Accra Weizo that has been held in Accra for five years consecutively.

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