The New Minister of Land,Housing and Urban Development Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, who was the commissioner of Tourism in Akwa Ibom state and started the work on the majestic Le Meridien Hotel Ibomin Uyo will be honored alongside other former Commisioners of Tourism in Nigeria at The 4th Abuja Bantaba.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. Samuel Ogbemudia former Governor of Old Bendel State credited with numerous tourism projects and 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.
One of the Best Tourism leaders in the history of Nigeria Governor Liyel Imoke will also be honored.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.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.
Governor Imoke took up the Tourism projects of Cross River and drove it to phenomenal heights.The world Famous Carnival Calabar known as the biggest Street Party in Africa grew from a local event to a global event. From less than a thousand Hotel rooms in Calabar to over 4000 rooms in Calabar which are mostly fully occupied in the one month long Calabar Festival. To make Tinapa fully functional Governor Imoke launched the Summit Hills project to be completed before 2015. The Summit Hills a signature Project is a composite mixed use area adjoining Tinapa with a 160 house estate,an 18hole golf course,a world class Convention centre and a 200 room hotel among other facilities.
Cross River state has led the tourism promotion business in Nigeria using the Carnival as it’s pivot,drawing participation from all over the world establishing the carnival as a must watch event in Africa. For most people who cannot go to Calabar in December Abuja Bantaba is the opportunity to see this world famous spectacle play outside of Calabar. The Carnival Calabar will showcase to a select audience at the 4th edition of Abuja Bantaba the meeting event for travel professionals on the 25th of April.
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.
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.