Nigeria: Calabar Carnival – Cross River Assures Tourists of Adequate Security

The Cross River Government has assured residents in the state and tourists coming for the 2016 annual Calabar carnival of adequate security.

Ken Aklah, Special Adviser to Governor Ben Ayade on Event Management, gave the assurance on Thursday in Calabar, during an on-the-spot assessment of the carnival village.

Aklah, who is also the Chairman of the 2016 carnival committee, said Ayade had introduced a new security outfit known as ‘Homeland Security’, to boost the existing security network in the state.

He said that the 2015 carnival witnessed some security challenges, but the state government had taken bold steps to ensure that the 2016 carnival was celebrated peacefully.

“We had a few security challenges last year; but this year’s carnival will be celebrated peacefully because Operation Delta Safe has now been extended to Cross River by the Federal Government,” Aklah said.

The special adviser said that the carnival village was moved from the botanical garden in Calabar South to Calabar Municipal garden with a view to providing more funfair for tourists.

He said that the move was also in line with the 2016 carnival theme of “Climate Change,” as it would allow full regeneration to occur at the botanical garden.

According to him, it is also important to move the carnival village to the municipal garden because the garden is central and can host a large number of tourists during the festival.

“The projection is that many people can no longer afford the dollar to go abroad for the Christmas season funfair; hence Calabar is an easy but quality alternative for a good dose of fun.

“A lot of people have indicated interest to come to Calabar for the festival this year”, he said.

While inspecting the facilities, Aklah said that work at the Christmas village was near completion, as about 80 shops had been provided for freelance vendors, and enough space for various categories of sponsors.

The one month festival will commence on December1 and end on January1, 2017.

Gab Onah, Chairman of Calabar Carnival Commission, said that the commission had introduced innovations to the carnival, which include the modification of the Bikers festival, decentralisation of the carnival flag-off route and others.

According to Onah, this year’s carnival will witness increase in international participating countries.

“The city of Calabar and the entire world will feel the 2016 carnival because we are ever ready to maintain and sustain the largest street party in Africa,” he said.

Winners of 2016 African Travel Times Award Emerge

The names of winners of 2016 edition of the African Travel Times Award, have been unveiled by organizers of the annual event recently.

Awardees include Synagogue Church of All Nations [SCOAN], which won the Most Visited Religious Destination in Nigeria; Peacock Travel and Tours went home with the Most Innovative & Efficient Travel Agency in Nigeria and Sheraton Abuja Hotel & Towers carted home the Best Public & Media Relations Hotel in Nigeria.

Others winners are Akwaaba Travel Market, winning the Most Valuable Travel Fair in Nigeria while the Most Active Travel & Tourism Association in Nigeria was won by Nigeria Association of Tour Operators [NATOP].

The award is in recognition of “excellence” in the travel and tourism sector in Nigeria, and to encourage stakeholders to strive for excellence in the sector.

Announcing the names and congratulating the awardees, Publisher/Editor of the magazine, Lucky Onoriode George said he was delighted having them emerge winners at this year’s edition, and therefore, urged them to keep it up.

“Having emerged winners at this year’s award, I congratulate you all and at the same time to implore you to keep it up as it is not a mean task”, he said.

Onoriode George reiterated his intention to make the award a West African and the entire African continent affair in no distant time.
Winners of the various awards are selected based on the decision of panel of industry experts and professionals in the various subsectors.

The African Travel Times is a monthly travel and tourism magazine, which has been in circulation since 2011, covering news of ‘Insiders’ in the sector written from a local or native point of view of fascinating people, places of interest in the industry from any part of Nigeria and Africa.

ATA Moves 41st Annual World Tourism Conference In Rwanda To 2017

Africa Travel Association [ATA], a US based body promoting travel and tourism traffic to Africa has announced the postponement of its 2016 41st World Tourism Conference scheduled to hold in Kigali, Rwanda from November 14th -17th.

In a press statement signed by Stephen Hayes, President/CEO of Corporate Council on Africa [CCA] said “You may have already heard that we have decided to postpone the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference to the first half of the year in 2017 as our registrants and participants were previously notified”

The press statement noted further that “While we are pleased with the very high caliber of the conference and the participation, circumstances have come about that present a far greater opportunity to expand the importance and reach of this event by combining our efforts with others in such a way that can have significant impact on US-Africa cooperation in tourism and the sectors that make tourism an important sector on the Continent”.

According to Stephens, “the decision to postpone was a joint decision by our partner, the Rwanda Development Board. Though we are not at liberty to announce details at this time, we remain committed to Rwanda and we will send an announcement of the new dates very soon”.

“We are confident that our decision is the right one and that it will prove to be in the best interests of all concerned. Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to a successful conference in Rwanda in 2017, said Stephens.

Etihad Airways Joins With SPAR Nigeria To Reward Loyal Shoppers

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, has joined with SPAR Nigeria to reward shoppers under its SPAR Reward Card loyalty programme.

This campaign runs on a monthly basis and will conclude with a grand finale in December 2016 when the SPAR Shopper of the Year will be announced.

SPAR Reward Card customers who spend N20,000 or more in a month will automatically beentered into a grand finale draw, with the SPAR Shopper of the Year being rewarded with an all-inclusive visit to Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital city, including complimentary Business Class tickets and a four-night’s stay at one of the leading partner hotels.

George Mawadri, Etihad Airways’ General Manager in Nigeria, said: “We are excited to join with leading retail chain SPAR Nigeria on this promotion, which gives Nigerian shoppers the opportunity to enjoy great discounts on tickets and ticket upgrades on Etihad Airways’ flights, when they shop with SPAR.”

John Goldsmith, Head of Marketing, SPAR Nigeria, said: “With this promotion, Etihad Airways has again demonstrated its commitment to the Nigerian community, which is sure to bring a smile to the faces of our loyal shoppers in SPAR stores across the country.

Etihad Airways launched its service between Lagos and Abu Dhabi in July 2012, and currently operates a four-times-per-week service using an Airbus A330-200 aircraft configured to carry 254 guests, 18 in Business Class and 236 in Economy Class.

About Etihad Aviation Group

Etihad Aviation Group [EAG] is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising four business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Engineering, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in seven airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, Virgin Australia, and Swiss-based Darwin Airline, trading as Etihad Regional.

From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, 117 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of 122Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit:

About SPAR

SPAR is the largest chain of hypermarket stores in Nigeria offering a wide variety of products. SPAR has over 33,000 m2 of retail space with 10 stores spreading across 4 cities of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Calabar in Nigeria.

SPAR is the first retail store chain to introduce Co-Branded Credit Card and Plastic Gift Cards. SPAR became the first chain to introduce Loyalty Program under the SPAR Reward Card brand name for its shoppers. Today, SPAR Reward Card boasts of over 300,000 members.

SPAR in Nigeria is a part of an international retail chain originating from Holland. SPAR, a Dutch multinational retail chain has a global presence in 42 countries across 4 continents with over 12,000 stores.

Oyo Braces For AMALA FIESTA Next Month

Oyo state has blaze the trail again. coming with the popular Yoruba food called `Oka’ Amala to be repackaged, presented and celebrated come 15th, 16th and 17th December 2016, at the Trans Wonderland, Amusement Park, Samonda Ibadan.

The event which is tagged `Amala Fiesta’ is the vision of the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, who made it known that his tenure as the commissioner, under the able leadership of His Excellency, Senator Isiaq Abiola Ajimobi will not be a mere formality but a bundle of gift in his capacity to serve the good people of Oyo State, through promotion and full support of the vision and mission of His Excellency.
In his speech, at the unveiling ceremony of the brand `Amala Fiesta’ on Tuesday 25th of October 2016 at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State Secretariat Ibadan.

The Commissioner elicited the just concluded World Tourism day held on the 27th September 2016 at Iseyin Town, where landmark successes were recorded in planning, implementation and the objectives.
Arulogun said the result of the event that showcased `Aso Oke’ as popular Yoruba traditional clothing has given him the zeal to navigate through other areas of our heritage that can brew the desired characters necessary for the development of our society, thereby springing world-wide acceptance and financial gains for the people in various localities where these are derived.

The Honorable commissioner emphasizes that the upcoming `Amala Fiesta’ is opened for sponsorship and collaborations in various capacities, and that, though he is enjoying the collaborations of some organizations like `Tourism Care and Hospitality Association of Nigeria’ [TCHAN] Oyo State Chapter, The Canteen Workers Association of Oyo State and Nigerian Breweries Plc, it is still an event that can accommodate many players going by the scope envisioned. He therefore expressed enthusiasm generated in the course of preparation to the unveiling ceremony.

When asked about the perceived opportunity, He said, apart from the aura of the season that receives the event, which holds a lot of financial, material and human blessings, it is undoubtedly a big opportunity for the would-be stake-holders to express their products and services to the categories of the visitors and participants.

The Honorable commissioner asserted that the involvement of the 33 local Government of Oyo state representatives and other invitees from outside the State, will ice the cake of the huge traffic to the event, thereby creating the business atmosphere that will be up for grabs.

He concluded that, all hands are on deck, preparatory to the event and that no stone will be left unturned to make `Amala Fiesta’ a huge success.

By Jide Macsteve, Ibadan