As the world celebrates 100 years of Aviation, Abuja Bantaba will be celebrating 100 years of growth and development of Travel Business in Nigeria. Abuja Bantaba will celebrate the pioneers, the exceptional, innovators and the legends of the travel business some of whom have never been recognized before.
Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, one of the pillars of integration and growth of the country was the transport system built initially on the back of the North –South rail network which now includes; Road, Air, Riverine and Pipeline movement.
The modern Nigeria is built on an integrated transport system that carries millions of people around the country that includes over 14 Million Air Travellers through 22 official Airports, aviation was the last to join the Rail, Road and River Travel in Nigeria.
Today, Nigeria is one of the fastest growing hospitality hotspots in the world and with a huge travelling public and aviation profile with its travel agents generating over $1.25b in a year. With transformation in progress, it is expected that the future of travel business in Nigeria is bright.
It is against this backdrop that the organizers of Abuja Bantaba announced its plans to honour certain individuals as well as companies in the Tourism and Travel Business in Nigeria in line with Nigeria’s celebration of her 100 years together as one entity. The centenary of Nigeria comes with different landmark celebrations and for the tourism sector and players, the stage is set to roll out drums not only to assess and celebrate achievements, but also to encourage icons whose efforts are indelible at bringing tourism promotion to limelight.
As Nigeria celebrates anniversary, Abuja Bantaba will be honouring the 100 leading Travel and Tourism personalities in Nigeria’s history at the Travellers Award Dinner on April 25, 2014 at Abuja.
The personalities who were carefully drawn from both core and allied tourism and travel sector, based on their immense contribution to tourism include CP Audu Bako the former Governor of old Kano State, seen as one of the greatest tourism visionaries in Nigeria along with Dr Donald Duke the former governor of Cross River State. Other pioneers in Aviation include Chief Igbinedion of the famous Okada Air the first private major airline in Nigeria, Sir Louis Ojukwu of Ojukwu Transport, Chief Ubajiaka of Izuchukwu transport, Austin Ilodibe of the famous Ekene Dili Chukwu.
In addition, frontline hospitality and tour operations will be honoured along with the first male and female pilots and the Nigerian who invented the popular Chapman drink.
According to the organiser of Abuja Bantaba, “the annual travel event organised by Akwaaba Travel Market in Abuja, which is a one-day speed-dating event at Abuja Sheraton Hotel, in its fourth edition celebrate with Nigeria the Centenary.
“As part of our centenary, we seek to honour the best of Nigeria 100 travel companies selected as the leading travel organisations in Nigeria and list of 100 top hotels.
“To this end, a special edition of our annual magazine Travellers Yearbook will be launched.
Ikechi Uko said the publication will include a compilation of 100 Nigerians that have made impact in the development of tourism and travel in Nigeria’s history and the top 100 organisations at the forefront of travel business today in Nigeria. ‘The publication and the listed organisations and people will be honoured at the 12th Travellers Award ceremony at Abuja on April 25,” Uko added.