Africa: Gov. Ayade, Air Peace MD Onyema and Ekezie of Wakanow win Man of the Year Awards

Cross River government, ayade NIMET

Gov. Ayade, Air Peace MD Onyema and Ekezie of Wakanow win Man of the Year Awards

Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has won the Atqnews Tourism Man of the Year award for 2016, this is as the CEO of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema also emerged the Aviation Man of the year while Mr. Obinna Ekezie, Managing Director of Wakanow wins the award for Travel Personality of the Year. All the awards are for the year 2016.

ATQnews.com is a member of Travel Media Group. It is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first Travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. ATQnews.com is a foremost African online travel news platform with a global reach.

The awards would hold at the Travellers Night Gala Dinner on the 16th March 2017 at De Edge Hotel Resort, Port Harcourt during 2017 edition of Port Harcourt Bantaba.

The awards and recognitions are intended to distinguish Nigerians both in government and in the private sector who have distinguished themselves in moving the travel and tourism business forward in Nigeria.

allen-onyemaThis edition of Bantaba with the awards and Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria is organized by ATQnews.com in partnership with Akwaaba African Travel Market. This year is unique as Bantaba would be returning after 2 years absence and with a shift from its traditional Abuja location to the Garden City of Port Harcourt, popularly referred to as the Treasure Base of the Nation. The event will hold at De Edge Hotel Resort, Port Harcourt on 16b – 17th March, 2017.

Prof.Ben Ayade, Governor of Cross River State, was voted Tourism Man of the Year for sustaining the Carnival Calabar and most importantly, for improving on the offerings of the carnival with the international edition and bikers fiesta despite the economic recession.

While Mr. Allen Onyema, Managing Director of Air Peace was voted the Aviation Man of the Year for positioning Air Peace as one of leading domestic airlines in the country including its expansion drive on the Ghana route. Mr. Obinna Ekezie, Managing Director of Wakanow won the Travel Man of the Year for building the travel company to become a  big African brand with branches abroad.

wakanowOther awards include Hospitality Man of the Year: Chief Nnaeto Orazuruike of The Genesis group; The 3 Most Active Tourism States in Nigeria, Cross River State, Lagos State and Osun State are to be recognised; Domino’s Pizza is to be awarded for the best Quick Service Restaurant while the Restaurant of the Year award goes to The Place. The award for the Hotel Man of the Year will be announced later.

The organizer. Mr. Ikechi Uko, speaking about the Man of the Year awards, explained that the awards are worth the effort as it seeks to recognize great travel and tourism companies and personalities in Nigeria.

“Last year was difficult in Nigeria. But some organizations and people dared, and did good things that brought good news to Travel and Tourism. These great efforts and successes are worth recognizing and celebrating,” says Mr. Uko.

Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria is aimed at recognizing and celebrating hotels which have impacted positively on the growth and development of travel and tourism business in Nigeria through maintaining resilience, high quality in service delivery, excellence in operations, top class in infrastructure and steady progress in growth. It was started in 1999 by Travellers magazine.
Winners emerged through a rigorous process that started at 2016 Akwaaba African Travel Market through over 2,000 nominations by delegates, top travel professionals, travel agents, tour operators, travel experts and professionals with collations from returned questionnaire from nominated hotels.

Mr. Ikechi Uko, talking about this year’s Bantaba in Port Harcourt, said that, ‘The Government of Nigeria through the Minister of Tourism had asked us to return Bantaba to Nigeria. ’We had planned to move Bantaba to Atlanta, Georgia in America because for 4 years Boko Haram disrupted our events in Abuja.

As a response to the Honourable Minister’s request, Bantaba is back to Nigeria. It might be rotated to different cities based on request’, Mr. Ikechi explained.

In order to empower hotels in Nigeria, organizers of Port Bantaba has included a TWO-DAY Master Class training for e-tourism including Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google and other online tools, even as it creates networking opportunities for the participants. The first day will be training on how to package inbound and outbound tours and admission for day 1 is free.

Bantaba is a travel and tourism speed dating event that was first held on Abuja in 2011.
And it was a success story. It was an opportunity for stakeholders in the industry to come together to discuss some of the salient issues affecting the sector and the way forward. With the Akwaaba annual travel fair, the foremost West African travel fair holding in Lagos, ACCRA Weizo in Ghana, the Bantaba speed dating will offer a platform for travel trade networking in the South-South & South- East region of the country this year.

Port Harcourt Bantaba, would be a two-day event that will include speed-dating and high-powered seminar sessions with mini exhibition, matching travel buyers with sellers and allied tourism players; focus on developing the South-South and South East as a tourism destination by attracting several countries in Africa and reducing the cost of individual marketing in the region.

‘For this year, Port Harcourt Bantaba will be attracting speakers drawn from different tourism fields across Nigeria and Africa with different topics allotted to them for discussion and in return touch on salient issues affecting the tourism industry and how they can firmly proffer solutions that would bring decency to the partnership drive for onward development’, Mr. Uko concluded.

Leading globally rated experts who would be speaking this year include Mr. Damian Cooke from East Africa, an expert on e-tourism, Training will cover topics; eTourism in Theory and Practice, eMarketing Strategy, Web Design, Content and Management, Analytics and Conversion Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Relationship Marketing, The Generation Gap- Encouraging User Generated Content; Trip advisor, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Managing Multimedia, Mobile and Location Based Services. Participants will be provided with materials at the training venue and certificate of attendance.

Some of the past speakers are Mr. Femi Adefope, former Chairman, HRG and former President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, Mr. Harold Demuren, former DG, NCAA.

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