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NATOP 2021 AGM To Host Former Ghana Minister of Tourism, Udofia As Speakers

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The Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) has announced it would once again play host to high profile speakers at its 5th Annual General Meeting (AGM).


The AGM coming up in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State will has as its Guest speaker, the Former Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Ghana, Mrs. Catherine Afeku, under whose tenure Ghana initiated the highly successful Year of Return Project.


Also an Akwa Ibom born International Businessman with passion for Tourism, Mr. Akanimo Udofia, will be the keynote speaker.


Both speakers will be supported by a member of The Federations of Tourism Associations in Nigeria (FTAN) BOT member, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, who also is a BOT member of NATOP.


The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Ibom Air, George Uriesi, will share with the Tour Operators the experience of restarting Ibom Air after the COVID-19 lockdown and how they have built a successful operation so far.


The theme for this year’s event is “Restarting Tourism in Nigeria: A new Template.” His Excellency, The Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, is expected to grace the Event.


NATOP stated that it has always used its AGM to focus attention on the development of Tourism in Nigeria and that it rotates its AGM to the different zones in Nigeria while also introducing new ideas into the Tourism Ecosystem.


It is the only Tourism Association that has had the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, personally attend its AGM.


The 2021 AGM will be hosted by one of the leading Tourism States in Nigeria, Akwa Ibom and at a press conference held in Uyo recently, the Akwa Ibom Commissioner of Tourism, Orman Esin and his Information Counterpart Mr. Ini Ememobong, were effusive in their praises of the tourism offerings of Akwa Ibom.


According to Esin “Akwa Ibom is the real deal; we have the options for all types of Tourism in Nigeria. We have the biggest hotel property in West Africa, consistent growth over the years.


“We knew that bringing Naija7Wonders Group to our State in December for the Christmas Village will bring us the attention we needed.


“Now we have secured the AGM of the strongest promoters of tourism in Nigeria. We are your partners and will grow tourism together.


“The Governor has a vision of a modern state and has deliberatelyengineered the development of industries and improved on the existing infrastructure. Today Ibom Air is celebrated all over the Nation as a standard of excellence.”

The Information Commissioner in his speech highlighted the strong points of Akwa Ibom State.


“Cuisine, infrastructure, scenery, people and buildings are the hallmarks of Akwa Ibom State. We are a very secure place not by accident but by the determination, focus and will of the state government.


“The Governor is an industrialist and the state will benefit from energizing the tourism stakeholders to come and enjoy the synergy of our facilities. Akwa Ibom is your best choice for Tourism in Nigeria.”


Earlier in her speech the President of NATOP, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, thanked the State for choosing to host the AGM.


She told them that two other States are ready to host but the Executives decided to come to Akwa Ibom States because of the high rating among tourism practitioners.


“In 2016 we were in Calabar, Cross River State for our AGM, in 2017 we moved to Lagos, in 2018 we were in Jos, Plateau State in 2019 we went to Ile Ife, Osun State.


“We did not hold AGM in 2020 as we do not think virtual Conferences yield value for tourism. We must do what we preach. If people don’t move there is no tourism so we move people.


“As we come to Uyo our members will obey all the approved COVID-19 Protocols and we hope to enjoy the bounties that Akwa Ibom offers,” she said.

Former Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Ghana, Mrs. Catherine Afeku.

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