Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Enjoy Akwaaba 2010

World Cup Czar Danny Jordaan, World Bank, 3 foreign ministers, others for Akwaaba 2010

A former president of the Gambia, Sir Dawda Jawara; CEO of FIFA World Cup 2010, Dr Danny Jordaan and Secretary General of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, Prof Zahi Hawass as well as three ministers from Ghana and Gambia are among very important personalities, whose attendance of this year’s edition of Akwaaba African Travel Market; has been confirmed.
This year’s Akwaaba African Travel Market, billed to hold at Eko Hotel New Expo centre in Lagos; will open on 23 October and end on 25 October. However, only exhibitors, invited guests and the organizers will be admitted to the 23 October events’ venue, while the fair will be open to the general public on both 24 and 25 October.
A release signed by Mr. Ikechi Uko, CEO of ATQ and Chairman of the organizing body, described Akwaaba African Travel Market as “the only international travel fair in West Africa”. In the statement, Mr. Uko revealed; “World Bank confirms its participation and intention to use AfTM as a stakeholders’ forum”.
In the same vein, “New York, US-based Africa Travel Association (ATA) will participate at the board level” and “there will be awards for airlines, Travel agents and pioneers at the Award Dinner to be graced by African Ambassadors and the first female airline Captain Irene Mutungi of Kenya Airways”, continued Mr. Uko, who said the Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe OON, will be the Chief Host.
According to the fair’s organisers, “Akwaaba African Travel Market has been designated by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) as the official travel exhibition in Nigeria, and the 2010 edition of the fair, will be the largest gathering of World Class Hotels in West Africa.
“All major international hotel chains and brand hotels that operate in the region are booked to exhibit at this year’s expo. For The Starwood group comprising Sheraton, Meridien and Four Points; it will be their first time as a group joining others like the Protea Group, Golden Tulips, The Legacy Group, The Golden Beach Group, The African Sun Group and The Southern Sun Group”. Also, Eko Hotels, Colonades, African Regents, HSSL, Alisa Hotel, Coconut Groove and Bon Voyage, among other outstanding hotels, have, Uko continued; “all signed up for the biggest global show in West Africa”.
“Over the last 5 years, the AfTM has become the most important travel marketing platform in the (West African) region drawing attendance from over 20 countries, including 12 foreign Airlines and leading African hotel chains. It is open to all as it is “where Africa meets the world”, Uko enthused, adding that “All international Airlines operating in Nigeria, except a few have all signed to participate in the big event including first timers like Lufthansa German Airlines and Afriqqyah Libyan Airlines”. Ethiopian Airlines, he continued, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary at the fair, and the government of Ghana is coming down with a full complement of Tour operators and cultural troupe just as The Gambia repeats it huge campaign started last year”.
This year’s event will feature “My African Travel Experience”, an essay writing competition for school students, and cash prices will be awarded to the best essays, while tickets from Ethiopian Airline, Lufthansa, Afriqyyah and Emirates will be won by lucky visitors to the trade fair.
Ikechi Uko again: “The success of AfTM attracted the presence of the former President of the Gambia Sir Dawda Jawara, the former Secretary General of the British Commonwealth Sir Emeka Anyaoku and the former Vice president of Nigeria, Sir Alex Ekwueme as guests among over 10,000 visitors that attended the event last year. AfTM has become a major fixture in the events calendar for Africa, listed by UNWTO as the only travel event in West Africa. Africa Travel Association (ATA), based in New York, has also signed Akwaaba as its partner event in Africa.
“Akwaaba was admitted this year into the prestigious International Tourism Trade Fair Association (ITTFA) further establishing it as an prestige event in the region. The organizers of Akwaaba are delighted to belong to the well respected and influential group of global exhibitions represented by ITTFA,” declared Mr Uko; who observed; “This membership offers us an opportunity to network, learn and operate amongst shows of the highest standards. It offers us the opportunity to provide our audience with the combined experience of our peers in the association thus bringing to the shores of West Africa global best practices in the exhibition business. Membership of this elite group will further position AfTM as an international event that takes place in Africa, integrating the African Travel practitioners into the global community.”

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