THE tourism industry in the Niger Delta is set to create an integrated boast in the non-oil economy of the region as the organisers of the maiden edition of Niger Delta Tourism Expo (NTDE) 2018, unveils an exciting annual travel and tourism event for the nine Niger Delta states making up the region.
The tourism expo with the theme: “Niger Delta Beyond Oil: “Tourism, A Tool for Sustainable Development” is scheduled to take place from 11th to 13th July, 2018 at Nigeria’s premiere business and leisure resort, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Speaking at a press briefing in Calabar, the head of media and publicity for the project, Mr. Hope Obeten, who also doubles as the CEO of Calabar foremost destination marketing platform, Calabar Blog disclosed that the event is an initiative put together to help explore, discover and harness the rich cultural and tourism potentials abound in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, he said no fewer than 5,000 participants from industry stakeholders, investors, exhibitors, buyers, consumers, tourism and travel practitioners, hospitality service providers and the media are expected to attend the expo over a 3 day period.
“Our core vision is to drive inclusive and sustainable development across all the local communities in the region by creating and building strong synergies amongst all stakeholders in the tourism, travel and hospitality industry in the Niger Delta”, Mr. Obeten said.
Mrs. Justina Ovat, SSA/GM, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Calabar, who’s also the CEO of Calabar Hospitality House Limited, the first and only certified institute for Hospitality, Tourism and Travel in Cross River State, expressed confidence that the expo will help create awareness about the huge tourism investment opportunities abound in the Niger Delta. She noted that everything has been put together to ensure that this first outing sets the tone and pace for the annual event.
She therefore called on young persons interested in building a career in the tourism and hospitality sector to take advantage of the training component of the expo to earn certifications from renowned bodies like the Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP) and the Institute of Hospitality, UK, Nigeria.
Also speaking, Mr. Allen Effeh, Lead Consultant, Ibom Tourism and Head of sponsorship for the project, highlighted activities of the event, which includes; a pre/post event familiarization tour across the nine Niger Delta states (240 hours around the Niger Delta), tourism roundtable conference, panel discussions, exhibitions, trainings and will climax with a gala and award night to celebrate outstanding travel, tourism and hospitality individuals, organisations and brands in the Niger Delta.
Mr. Effeh urged corporate bodies and government ministries, travel and hospitality service providers to take advantage of this history making event to expose their products and services to both the local and international audience.
Expressing his delight at the private sector driven project, Mr. Obinna Nwachuya, a tourism and innovation expert maintained that this event will bring a positive attraction to the region and would form a key part of the continent’s MICE calendar in the years to come.