The Niger Delta Tourism Industry is set to create an integrated boost in the non-oil economy of the region as the organisers of the first Niger Delta Tourism Expo (NTDE) 2018, has unveiled an exciting annual travel and tourism event for the nine states making up the region.
Theme: ‘Niger Delta Beyond Oil: Tourism, A Tool for Sustainable Development’ the tourism expo, which is scheduled to hold between July 11 and 13 at Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Calabar is expected to attract stakeholders in the tourism industry within and outside the Niger Delta region.
Speaking at a press briefing in Calabar, the head of media and publicity for the expo, Mr. Hope Obeten, disclosed that the event is an initiative put together to help explore, discover and harness the rich cultural and tourism potentials abound in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, no fewer than 5,000 participants from industry stakeholders, investors, exhibitors, buyers, consumers, tourism and travel practitioners, hospitality service providers and the media are expected to attend the three-day event.
He said, “Our core vision is to drive inclusive and sustainable development across all the local communities in the region by creating and building strong synergies amongst all stakeholders in the tourism, travel and hospitality industry in the Niger Delta.”
The General Manager, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel, Calabar, who also double as the CEO of Calabar Hospitality House Limited, Mrs. Justina Ovat, expressed confidence that the expo will help create awareness about the huge tourism investment opportunities that abound in the Niger Delta.
She noted that everything has been put together to ensure that this first outing sets the tone and pace for the annual event. She called on youths interested in building a career in the tourism and hospitality sector to take advantage of the training component of the expo to earn certifications from renowned bodies like the Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP) and the Institute of Hospitality, UK, Nigeria.
Highlighting activities of the event, Lead Consultant, Ibom Tourism and Head of sponsorship for the expo, Mr. Allen Effeh, said there will be a pre and post event familiarisation tour across the nine Niger Delta states, tagged 240 hours around the Niger Delta; tourism roundtable conference, panel discussions, exhibitions, trainings and the climax will be a gala/award night to celebrate outstanding travel, tourism and hospitality individuals, organisations and brands in the Niger Delta.
Mr. Effeh urged corporate bodies and government ministries, travel and hospitality service providers to take advantage of this history-making event to expose their products and services to both the local and international audience.
Expressing delight at the private sector driven project, Mr. Obinna Nwachuya, a tourism and innovation expert maintained that the expo will bring positive attractions to the Niger Delta region and would form a key part of the continent’s MICE calendar in the years to come.