The 15th Akwaaba African Travel Market is about three weeks away, and the excitement is already gathering momentum towards the biggest conglomeration in West Africa of the finest travel and tourism professionals from around the world.
Scheduled for 22nd – 24th of September at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria, Akwaaba African Travel Market is an annual B2B travel expo organised by ATQNews.com.
Here’s a list of 10 things to look out for at Akwaaba African Travel Market 2019.
• 1st African Tourism Diaspora Conference 2019
his year’s expo will witness the 1st African Tourism Diaspora Conference 2019 as part of the commemoration of 400 years – when the first slave ship docked in America with slaves from Africa in 1619.
First on the list of confirmed speakers for the Conference is the Ooni of Ife, HRM Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II). Others include: Alhaji Bamanga Tukur (Executive President), African Business Roundtable; Prof. Godfrey Nzamujo(Songhai Integrated Agriculture); Thomas Mensah (Creative Fibre Optics); Alain St. Ange (former Minister of Tourism, Seychelles); Carol I. Hay (Caribbean Tourism Organization); Fabien Anthony (Pan-African Council); and Sharon Palacio(Belize). The event is slated for the second day of expo September 23, 2019.
• The African Travel 100 Global Tourism Personalities Awards
Also slated for Day 2 of Akwaaba African Travel Market 2019 is the African Travel 100 Global Tourism Personalities Awards. The award is designed to honour personalities who have exemplified themselves immensely and contributed to the growth of the travel and tourism industry in Africa and the Diaspora.
The 3rd Jollof Rice War
The Jollof Rice War made its début at Akwaaba African Travel Market 2017 as a subtle campaign for culinary tourism and the cooking contest was won by the Orange Cap Chef from Nigeria. This year’s gastronomic slugfest promises to be a bigger tantalizing delight as a shortlist of twenty chefs from four countries have been released by ATQNews.comwith the prominent Nigerian woman of many parts Senator Florence Ita-Giwa (Mama Bakassi) as celebrity chef.
The judges for the event include: Didier Bayeye (Sun International) and Safie Ali (CEO, Sathco African Safaris), with Charity Githinji (Tandaza Africa) as chief judge. The event is billed for the opening day of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Sept. 22, 2019.
•Aviation Conference 2019
AFRAA’s Director (Government, Legal & Industry Affairs), Aaron Munetsi is the lead speaker at the Akwaaba 2019 Aviation Conference which has the theme: Impact of Airport Development & Airlines on Tourism Growth. Other speakers for the conference slated for Day 3, Sept. 24, 2019 include: Nick Fadugba (African Aviation Services), Sean Mendis (Africa World Airlines AWA), Alice Katiti (RwandAir), Ohis Ehimiaghe (South African Airways SAA), and Hafeez Balogun (Kenya Airways KQ).
•Youth Tourism Conference 2019
The Youth Tourism Conference has been a part of the Akwaaba African travel Market line up since 2017. The topic up for discussion this year is: Is Tourism a Sustainable Business for the Youth? and it will feature the likes of Chiamaka Obuekwe (Social Prefect), Odion Chigbufue (Tour Brokers Int’l), Oludayo Taiwo (Aeroport), Tina Nwanya (NjeTours), Segbenu Olusola (TravelAfcon), Tosin Lawson (African Things), Derin Shotunde (Deerin Meat Food Products) and Ezekwe Christopher (DIP Tours). The session will be moderated by Wonuola Olatunde-Lamidi (Diamonds & Pearls Travel).
•Catch A Glimpse of Dubai
While several destinations have been part of Akwaaba African Travel Market to showcase what they have, Dubai Tourism has always gone the extra mile to enthral and dazzle the Akwaaba audience. They are back again this year, bigger and better with the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Nigeria, Fahd Obaid Mohammad Al Tafaqschedule to make his very first appearance at Akwaaba. A Glimpse of Dubai (featuring Breakfast, Presentation & Updates, Q&A and Raffle Draw) is scheduled for Sept. 23, 2019 between 9:30 and 11:30 am.
Akwaaba African Travel Market has never been devoid of fun and entertainment, and the Carnival Calabar dancers have always been around to add colour and spice to the occasion with their vibrant carnival dresses and exciting dancing. This year should be no exception.
• See Ghana. Eat Ghana. Wear Ghana. Feel Ghana…
Ghana has been at the forefront of the commemoration of the 400-year of slavery with the West African country officially declaring 2019 as Year of Return. Ghana and Nigeria share a certain fraternal competitiveness which sometimes involves table-shaking episodes. Ghana Tourism has been part of the Akwaaba story – for the record the word Akwaaba which means welcome is of Ghanaian origin. There was a time in Nigeria when the story was “Ghana Must Go” but this time around, Ghana Must Return…
•The Smiling Coast…
The Gambia may be mainland Africa’s smallest country, but it is certainly not a pushover as far as tourism is concerned. The West African nation fondly called the Smiling Coast of Africa gets a high influx of visitors each year making tourism one of its major economic drivers. Recently, the DG of the Gambia Tourism Board, Abdoulie Hydaraconfirmed The Gambia’s participation at Akwaaba stating that Nigeria is a very important market for Gambian tourism.
Trivia: Did you know that The Gambia is the birthplace of Kunta Kinte? The Gambia used to host a biennial Roots Homecoming Festival which brought the African Diaspora to the country.
•Caribbean Tourism Organization
There is an expected strong presence of the Caribbean at Akwaaba this year following the relationship established between the organizers and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO). The Caribbean Day is 23rd Sept. 2019 and expected guests include: the High Commissioner of Jamaica to Nigeria, His Excellency Esmond Reid; Director of Marketing CTO, Carol I. Hay; Fabien Anthony and Sharon Palacio. There will be music, provided by DJ Steel Pan with rum cake and rum to share. Yah man! Big things a gwan down at Akwaaba 2019. Maximum respect! Lawd ah mercy!
The exhibition stands will be jam-packed with tourism boards and several businesses taking advantage of the occasion to showcase their brands, products and services. You don’t want to miss out!