By Adewole Ajao
The Hotel Owners Forum of Abuja (HOFA) has offered a 25 per cent discount to delegates arriving Abuja for the Bantaba Travel Expo that holds on April 25 in the Abuja Sheraton Hotel.
According to the president of HOFA, Ekong Onofiok, Abuja hoteliers were desirous of developing leisure tourism into Abuja and Nigeria, and were willing to support anyone with creative ideas that will develop such ideas.
Apart from HOFA’s intention to partner with promoters and tour operators in growing the tourism sector, HOFA will be participating in the Abuja Bantaba for the first time. HOFA is currently one of the strongest tourism associations in Nigeria with over 300 hotels as members.
HOFA’s presence follows a previous partnership the Abuja Bantaba already has with NANTA (National Association of Travel Agents in Nigeria). The new executive of NANTA has reiterated its desire to reinforce the cooperation with the organisers of Abuja Bantaba.
According to Mrs Atinuke Nwakohu Abuja Bantaba offers the new team the opportunity to reach more travellers and sell the need of using travel professionals in this era of internet bookings.
Chief Amachree of the Port Harcourt Tourist Beach Fame will be the chairman of the event. Amachree has been a promoter of tourism in Nigeria for over 30 years. He founded the first National Tourism Association (ATPN) and now heads CEPTAC, a tourism advocacy group. Long before Carnival Calabar, Amachree promoted RIVIFEST in Port Harcourt in the early 90s.
The expo organisers recently announced Princess Stella Oduah as the 2011/2012 recipient of its Man of the Year Award. Oduah was chosen for the tremendous reformation across the airports in Nigeria. This will be the second time an aviation minister will be winning the award.
The last time it was won by a Minister of Aviation was in 2002/2003 when Dr. Kema Chikwe was chosen for her the award.