Carnival Calabar was once again, on charm offensive, at the 13th Akwaaba Africa travel market held at the prestigious Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos State from 10th – 12 September, 2017.
The team led by the Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah showcased the state as a preferred destination for leisure and business tourism in Nigeria and Western Africa.
Over the years, Akwaaba has grown to become an important Africa Tourism marketing platform in the region drawing attendance from over 7,000 to 10,000 Visitors from 20 Countries. Among the exhibitor’s included national tourism organizations, numerous airlines, both domestic and foreign; and leading Africa hotel chains, destination management companies.
Present also at the Carnival Calabar stand was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Events Management, Mr. Kenn Aklah, Senior Special Assistant on Events and Tourism, Mr. Thomas Ikpeme, Executive Secretary, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr. Austin Cobham, Director of Administration, Mrs. Eme Affiah, Member, Carnival Commission, Mr. Francis Ekpo, Marketing Consultant, Carnival Calabar, Mrs. Mary Ephraim and others.
Highpoint of the fair was the award recognition of the Leader of the Carnival Calabar Sea Gull Band, Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa (Mama Bakassi) and Director of Administration, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mrs. Eme-Affiah.
The organizer of the travel show, Mr Ikechi Uko noted that the 100 Africa women in travel award became necessary considering the role of women whom he pointed out constitute seventy percent of the workforce in the tourism industry.
Additionally, participants at Akwaaba Africa travel had the opportunity to have a first-hand glimpse of the biggest street party in Africa as the beautiful Carnival Calabar revellers performed at the opening and closing ceremony.
Speaking at Akwaaba opening ceremony, the Director General of Nigeria National Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe applauded the organizers of Akwaaba and said that soon oil will be given a break as culture & tourism will now become the country’s new oil.
During the travel show, a number of events featured among them; the Chef Challenge a culinary event aimed at promoting culinary tourism by showcasing the best of Africa’s hospitality, a conference on Aviation in Africa with the theme “One-year commercial aviation accident free year. What did Africa do right”, a discussion for women in tourism and a conference for youth in tourism.