Monthly Archives: July 2016

Nigeria Has Shown Political Will To Move Tourism Forward – UNWTO

The Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation [UNWTO], Taleb Rifai, has hailed the demonstration of political will by the Nigerian government to move tourism forward in the country.

”There is the existence of political will and we can feel it from outside [the country],” Rifai said on recntly at the opening of a two-day meeting with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in Madrid, Spain,”

”Anyone who is interested in Nigeria will know the positive development that has taken place [in the country]” he said, adding that there is the need to ”tell this story to the world”.

The UNWTO Secretary-General, who noted that tourism contributes 10% of global GDP and creates one out of every 11 jobs, expressed delight at the opportunity provided by the Minister’s visit for the agency to seriously engage with Nigeria, instead of the ”casual engagements” which both [UNWTO and Nigeria] has had in the past.

”Nigeria is absolutely very important to us. The success of Nigeria is positive for the [African] continent and the world,” he said.

For his part, the Minister briefed the UNWTO Secretary-General and his delegation on the political, economic and security situation in Nigeria, saying while the country is going through a tough time, the government is focused and determined to take it out of its present predicament.

He said with the defeat of Boko Haram in the North-east and the on-going engagement of the militants in the Niger Delta by the federal government, Nigeria is on top of the security situation in the country.

Alhaji Mohammed said since Culture and Tourism has been identified as one of the sectors that form the plank of the country’s diversification efforts, there has been a definite move to resuscitate the President Council on Tourism [PCT], the highest advisory body on tourism in the country.

The Minister also told the UN agency of his plan to visit each of the clusters identified in the country’s Tourism Master Plan as part of an overall effort to re-ignite the Master Plan and also encourage
domestic tourism.

He urged the global body to support Nigeria’s tourism development through the provision of technical assistance, especially in the area of data gathering and processing, as well as capacity building.

”In particular, we are planning capacity building centre for women in tourism in each of the country’s six geo-political zones, because when you empower women, you empower the society,” Mohammed said, adding that the assistance of the UNWTO in this regard would be a
welcome development.

The Minister, who was accompanied to the meeting by officials of the Nigerian Embassy in Spain and the Ministry of Information and Culture, is in Spain at the invitation of the UNWTO Secretary-General, who has promised to work with Nigeria in designing a programme that can give a fillip to the development of tourism in Nigeria.

Morocco Tourism Demonstrates Resilience In Environment Marked By Tragic Events

The Board of Directors of the Moroccan National Tourism Office held a council meeting on Thursday, July 28, in Rabat under the chairmanship of Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism. During this Council, all the achievements of 2015 and the end performance review in May 2016 and the main projects for the coming months were in turn examined by the Council members.

In introducing this Board, Lahcen Haddad, Minister of Tourism, focused on the difficult geopolitical and security environment in which the sector faces. This highly anxiety-producing environment feeds amalgams and influences the behavior of targeted tourists.

The Tourism Minister recalled all the efforts MNTO during these past years to strengthen the brand image of the destination, to capitalize on the differentiating attributes of Morocco Brand and accelerate the ambitious process diversification of issuers’ basins.

Mr. Lahcen Haddad highlighted the resilience of Morocco destination in spite of very unfavorable factors; and 2015 has almost been the same number of arrivals at border posts to -1% compared to 2014 totaling 10.2 million tourists. Revenues recorded for their slight decrease – 1.4%, reaching 58.6 billion dirhams. This performance is largely explained by the decline of -5% from the French market, which was very marked by the series of terrorist attacks on its territory.

Sub-Saharan Africa [+ 4%], the UK [+ 5%], Germany [8], the Gulf States [12], Brazil [16], China [+ 12%] were the main growth drivers during 2015.

The Director General of the Agency presented a summary of actions taken by the Office of teams that have helped maintain the attractiveness of the brand and Morocco including diversification of markets, strengthening air connectivity, digital policy partnerships with distribution and communication operations: Pavilion Kingdom of Morocco in Abu Dhabi Exhibition Solutions Cop 21 in Paris demonstration in Abidjan and in several capitals.

In the first half 2016, the geopolitical situation has continued to deteriorate, particularly in the French market. Nice events, Rouen and the incidents in Germany are far from contributing to the improvement of the sector geopolitical context in the second half of 2016.

In late May 2016, the destination has recorded a decrease in arrivals at -1.16% of border crossings and a significant revenue growth of + 6.4%. Compared key competitive tourist destinations in the Mediterranean basin have experienced significant declines ranging from -30% to -50%.

In terms of domestic tourism, it recorded an average annual growth rate of overnight stays by 6%, and devotes the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and stakeholders for the development of the domestic market, particularly through the development of supply stations Biladi, the establishment of regionalized school holidays, etc.

For the second quarter 2016 and to deal with this exceptional situation linked to the consequences of the attacks in main market Europe transmitter Council expressed the need to equip the ONMT a particular budget.

That will enable the accelerated pace of the shares in particular press trips and relocation TV shows, organizing large-scale events in order to strengthen the destination branding, the launch advertising campaigns to increase brand awareness, and enhance the offer of the destination in Morocco.
These means will be used to accelerate the diversification of markets such as China, Russia, the Gulf States, Scandinavia and Africa.

The holding of the COP 22 in Morocco will be a highlight of before commissioning of the Morocco destination; MNTO will contribute to other national actors with for example the realization of an outstanding film told Yann Arthus-Bertrand.

The fundamentals of the destination Morocco and confidence tourist actors are good as shown by the sustained opening of new brands and programming of new air services from November 2016.

The desirability of implementing a Moroccan platform distribution abroad, the launch of a call for expressions of interest from airlines to bases in Marrakech, Agadir, Fez and Tangiers, a new strategy mark for the regions will break as many new sites carried out by teams of the Office.

In this difficult context, while ensuring cost optimization, the Board stressed the need to equip the ONMT adequate financial resources in accordance with what has been arrested in connection with the 2020 vision the shortest possible time. He further recommended the launch of a recruitment policy both qualitative and ambitious in order to provide the Office of the necessary human resources.

‘One Lagos’: Lagos Rebranding For Tourism And Entertainment

Come July 27 to 29, 2016, Lagos will be agog with the launch of its signature ‘One Lagos’ brand.

Folorunso Folarin-Coker, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture disclosed this during an interactive session with newsmen ahead of the event and that the rationale behind the event is to further bring the diverse multi-cultural heritage of Africa’s largest mega-city to fore as well as show case the vibrant energy of its people.

According to himt, the new brand embodies the ‘True Spirit of Lagos’ in its rich tourism and entertainment scenes.

“The ‘One Lagos’ brand will showcase the true spirit of Lagos through different creative expressions while leveraging on the City’s abundant soft power in an attempt to celebrate our people, places and the unique heritage of Lagos,” he explained.

He said the ‘One Lagos’ brand was conceived to drive economic growth across all communities in Lagos by ensuring that government take advantage of the robust population of the State, its density, its wealth and its culture by focusing attention on community consumption to grow and deepen Lagos tourism assets.

The commissioner stated further that the government is exploring all the tourism potentials of the State to drive the State’s economy, improve its hospitality, reinvigorate its entertainment scenes and gain a prime place in the comity of cities renowned for tourism monuments, sites and scenes.

“As I speak we already have the prototype of how we want to transform some monuments across the State especially in Badagry and we are also taking possession of ‘Under bridges’ in the State with the aim of creating an aesthetic environment under the various bridges for relaxation and games,” he said.

The three day event, which also serve as part of the countdown to Lagos State @ 50, will feature performances by top rated music artistes, comedy shows, cultural displays, Dance competitions, Models on the Fashion Runaway and Kids’ entertainment segments.

Lagosians are urged to seize this atmosphere and opportunity of fun to unwind and enjoy the true spirit of Lagos at Bar Beach Victoria Island, Lagos, and venue of the event.

ABC Sprinter Connects Accra Route

ABC Transport’s Sprinter service has commenced operations to Accra, Ghana, with effect from 1st July, 2016, running alongside Coach West Africa, ABC flagship coaches on that international corridor.

This is informed by the increasing demands for Sprinter service by customers along the West Coast of Africa.

ABC Sprinter is designed to satisfy the particular needs of light travelers: passengers who like to travel light with little or no luggage, and this service operates medium-size fully air-conditioned buses. Unlike the typical midi-buses deployed by some road transport operators, ABC Sprinter buses are more spacious, with enough legroom necessary to reduce the strain on such long distance trips.

In addition, ABC Sprinter buses carry 14 passengers only and boast of neat, cozy interiors. With their compact sizes, the average bus is best suited to operate in challenging road conditions and finding a way through tricky hold-ups along that cross-border corridor.

The buses are equipped with speed governors enabling the drivers to avoid over-speeding, based on the strict standards for which ABC Transport is known. ABC Sprinter service is favoured by small groups, tourists and smart travelers who would rather travel with fewer luggage.

Although ABC Sprinter has mainly operated in Lagos, Abuja, Jos, Kaduna, Owerri, Calabar, Uyo, Ibadan and Port Harcourt, its services will now be available in Accra [Ghana], Lome [Togo], and Cotonou [Benin Republic]. Meanwhile, under the ABC Corpers’ rebate, National Youth Corps members are entitled to a N500 discount on fare every time they travel with ABC Sprinter.

ABC Transport Plc is Nigeria’s leading coach operator and the only road transport operator currently listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange. ABC Transport provides haulage services for Lafarge HOLCIM, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Beta Glass, Procter and Gamble, and Impacto Nigeria, etc., besides running third party warehousing at Katamkpe, Abuja and the City Transit Inn, a budget hotel in Utako, Abuja.

Shan George’s ‘One Good Man’ Premières In Abuja Month End

All is set for ‘One Good Man,’ a film made by popular Nigerian actress and movie producer, Shan George to première in Agura Hotel, Garki Abuja come July 31.

This is as contained in a statement to the media issued in Calabar through Obaji Akpet, the movie’s publicist.

The must-look-out-for flick exploits different twists of a power drunk firstlady [role played by Vivian metchie] and how she met her worst nightmare in the hands of Zinny, her own son [Kingsley Donald].

Apart from Vivian Metchie, the movie left no stone unturned in assembling an ensemble of stars including Segun Arinze, Shan George, Lilian Bach, Femi Branch, Lepacious Bose, Eric Anderson, Ibok Ekpenyong while introducing Kingsley Donald and Winifred Duke.

The movie directed by Stanley Williams also introduces sultry photo vixen and ex-Cross River Most Beautiful Girl beauty queen, Prosper Ayuk into acting.

The blockbuster flick when finally released to the public will be another Shan George’s painstaking efforts in adding to the Nigerian filmmaking genres; and she’s credited to have produced 25 movies after her first film titled ‘All For Winnie,’ a film she did in 1998 while as an undergraduate at the University of Lagos.

Shan is also known to be so much in touch with Cross River, her home state in production of her films as she always particularises utilising the state’s beautiful locations in bringing up actors and crew from there raising their par of international best practice in movie venture.

Shan, in the statement called on all expectant movie goers to go see the film, whose premier is sponsored by Air Peace, Nigeria’s airlines; and to be attended by societal big wigs including one time Cross River gubernatorial contender, Chief Jeddy Agba.

By Obaji AKPET, Calabar