By Friday Nwosu
Dubai Tourism has emerged the winner of the overall Best stand award at the just concluded 12th edition of Akwaaba African Travel Market held at Eko Hotel, Lagos.
The event which had 15 participating countries and over 50 travel organisations in attendance saw Dubai winning the award for the second consecutive time.
Dubai became the darling of visitors at the event using subtle appeal in wooing visitors with fantastic packages, souvenirs and refreshments among others.
With its unique style at Akwaaba, it demonstrated to many Nigerians that the country is still number one for them in terms of leisure and shopping by stealing the show and making their stands with 10 partners across family entertainment, airlines and DMC’s at the fair a Mecca of sort for visitors.
In 2015, Dubai Tourism also shone like a million star in its participation. It sponsored the ‘Wedding Show’ in partnership with Emirates, which featured presentations on best wedding destinations and what they have in offer for their guests.
“Dubai is doing a lot better than other destinations so we are happy and comfortable where we are and we are committed to staying relevant to the African market” says Stella Obinwa, Regional Director, Africa Internal Operations, Dubai Tourism Board.
Also, South Africa Tourism (SAT) emerged the winner of Best African Stand Award. SAT stand was a beehive of activities with participants thronging to the stand to have a selfie or photo shoot with the two beautiful South African ladies dressed in colourful attires that depicts the country’s cultural heritage.
Guest were thrilled with the innovation adopted by SAT during the event as it kept wooing participants with various tourism sites of the country, with different pictures places in South Africa being changed each day as its stand’s backdrop.
Furthermore, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), emerged Runners Up for the Best African Stand.
Arguably one of the most decorated stands at the event, KTB became one of the darlings of participants as it woos visitors to its stand with pictures of Masais doing the Jump and beautiful safari clips.
Perhaps one of the unique features that drew visitors to the Kenyan stand was the beautiful Henna designs inscribed on the hands of most ladies that visited the stand.
Rwanda tourism board was one of the countries that put up a good show at the event. Although not among not the winners, the country’s stand was not short of visitors. The lovely weaved Rwandan baskets given out as souvenirs especially the Rwanda tea made the day for guests who kept asking for more.
Uganda tourism board which came to the travel exhibition for the first time also had a beautiful stand on display. The country which had lots of customised Ugandan bags to give out has souvenir seized the opportunity to tell visitors of the many tourist attractions the country has to offer.