Africa: Building a Sustainable Tourism Business in Akwa Ibom State – Ini Akpabio

Akwa Airbus Ibomair

The Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board was established by the Tourism Board Law, CAP132, Laws of Akwa Ibom State, 2000.

The Board was established as a dynamic arm of government with ministerial responsibilities of regulating the activities in the hospitality industry and to implement government tourism policies in the state.

CONSTITUTION OF THE BOARD:-
The Board is constituted by a Chairman, Board Members (1 and 2) and 3 Non Executive Board Members, Management (Heads of Departments) and staff (Middle and lower level personnel).

IMPLEMENTATION OF HOSPITALITY LAWS IN THE STATE
Since the inception of the present Board in 2018, the Chairman Mr. Ini Akpabio and the Board Members have worked assiduously to reposition the Board by implementing the following programmes: –
1. DOCUMENTATION OF ALL HOSPITALITY ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE STATE
Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board is currently carrying out a documentation exercise for all enterprises operating in the state. This will solve the problem of illegal operations of undocumented hospitality establishments in the state and make proper regulation of businesses possible as all establishments will be registered and their certificates and other documents domiciled in the Board.

READ: Africa: Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort rewards staff with excellence award

2. DIGITAL DATA CAPTURING/TOURISM BOARD PORTAL:-
The Board recently carried out a digital data capturing of all establishments in the state. This exercise has enabled the Board to create an on line data base with a unique identification number for the outfits. A portal has also been set up the data to have online presence for easy accessibility and information by stakeholders.

3. ESTABLISHMENT OF TOURISM INFORMATION DESK AT THE AIRPORT:-
With the approval of His Excellency, the Governor, an Airport Tourist’s information Desk has been approved for the Board. Work had since commenced and Desk Officers (Tourism Officers) deployed. The desk offers services to our visitors which include:- Hotel bookings @ 10% discount, guided tour services, information on Tourism festivals and events Tourism marketing and other recreational packages.

4. CREATING STRUCTURES FOR PRACTITIONERS TO IDENTITY OR BELONG:-
The Board discourages practitioners from operating in isolation and created structures at the State level to accommodate all Practitioners in the State. They include Hotel Proprietors Association (HPA), Hotel consultants and Managers Association of Nigeria (HOCMAN), Restaurant and Bar Associations of Nigeria (RABON), Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), and Association of Beauty Pageants Organizers of Nigeria. These associations have created cooperation among Practitioners and synergy with the Government.

5. UPDATE OF HOTEL DIRECTORY/TOURIST GUIDES: –
The Board intends to work with her Consultant to develop a comprehensive Hotels Directory and Tour Guide Magazine to guide our visitors. A map of Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom state has been produced and would complement other documents to boost our tour services.

PROPOSED EVENTS AND PROGRAMMES FOR 2022
In 2022 the Board has proposed the following programmes to consolidate the strides attained in the industry:-
i. Hosting of a Tourism Investment Summit.
ii. Construction of Uyo Eye in partnership with foreign investors. This is a ferris wheel equivalent of the London Eye
iii. Construction of a Tourism Village
iv. Introduction of at least Six (6) Tour Buses to ply the length and breadth of the state.
v. Classification and Grading of Hotels.
vi. Organize trainings for different categories of Practitioners in the sector and employees
vii. Establish a Hospitality Training Institute.
viii. Produce a Tourism Road Map

Thank you
For: Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board

 

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