Ikechi Uko returns as Calabar Carnival consultant

Gov. Ben Ayade (middle) with Team Spain at the 2015 carnival in Calabar.

Gov. Ben Ayade (middle) with Team Spain at the 2015 carnival in Calabar.

Brings Walter Mzembi For Akwaaba 2016

As tourists from across the globe, as well as fun loving Nigerians, gear up for this year’s Christmas party, Calabar Carnival, the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade has reappointed travel expert Mr. Ikechi Uko, as the consultant for the international aspect of the Carnival. This move is in line with the repositioning of Carnival Calabar as the Number one event in Africa.

Uko the leader of The TeamAfrica is also the Organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market. He was first appointed last year by the Governor to help birth the international version of the Carnival; a total of 11 Countries participated and it was deemed Successful. Based on the success of his first outing, the Governor has reappointed Uko to grow the event in 2016, with a mandate to bring more countries to the biggest Street party in Africa.

Meanwhile, this year’s edition of the carnival is expected to be bigger and better, as last year’s event was the first under the new administration. While the Bikers Day is slated for December 27, with over 10000 Bikers expected to participate in the showpiece, the main street carnival will take centre stage on December 28, with all the carnival bands on the bill. Last year’s event had over 2.5million visitors in the city for the Party. The international Carnival will hold on December 29, and is expected to grow bigger than the maiden outing

Already, the Carnival Commission has inked an MOU with the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators NATOP to promote this year’s event globally with 3 and 5-day packages for Tourists. The Chairman of the Carnival Commission Mr. Gabe Onah said that this arrangement with NATOP will complete the product and make it available to more Families to visit and enjoy the Fun pointing out Nickelodeon will be debuting this year at Tinapa to further excite the children.

Mr Nkereuwem Onung, the President of NATOP, commended Carnival Calabar for reaching out to Professionals to market the biggest Tourism product in Nigeria to the world. He promised that NATOP members would soon launch packages for people to sign on for this year’s carnival.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean Minister of Tourism and Hospitality, Dr. Walter Mzembi is billed to speak at the 12th edition of Akwaaba, African Travel Market 2016, holding at Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos. A high-powered delegation from the Ministry of Tourism will be accompanying the minister to the event, which will commence on October 30, 2016.

A letter from the Ministry sent to the organisers of the event, confirmed that Zimbabwe would be well represented at the Travel and Tourism conference. Mzembi, who has received many accolades for promoting tourism in Africa, is also the continent’s official candidate for the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General’s post. It said the Zimbabwean Ministry of Tourism and Hospitality would be happy to work with the organizers of Akwaaba in the promotion of tourism in Africa.

The Minister is expected to join other tourism experts from across Africa to speak on various topics bordering on the tourism industry in the continent. They include Rick Taylor, CEO Business Tourism Company, South Africa; Bob Bamgboye, CEO Current Link; Damian Cook, Founder e-Tourism Frontiers, Kenya; Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Former NTDC DG; and Gabe Onah, Chairman Calabar Carnival. Other speakers lined up for the conference are Danny Kioupouroglou, General Manager Eko Hotel & Suites, Kusha Dutta, MD Jumia Travels; Philip Aekesson, Country Manager TravelStart and Waturi Wa Matu, Former Coordinator for the East Africa Tourism Platform (EATP) and others.

The Travel and Tourism Conference also has an aviation section with the topic, The State of Aviation and Why Airlines Fail. It will feature captains of industry in the aviation sector lined up to discuss the challenges facing the aviation sector.

Speakers for the section include the Former DG, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren; former MD FAAN, Richard Aisuebeogun; former MD, Virgin Nigeria, Capt.
Dapo Olumide; COO, AWA, Capt. Samuel Thompson; and Chris Aligbe, CEO Belujane Konzult. Others are Yomi Jones former MD Nigeria Airways; and Capt. Mike Omokore, CEO Broadlink Aviation.

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