The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has said that this yearâ€™s edition of its annual general meeting (AGM), will hold in Port Harcourt where it would be showcasing the stateâ€™s rich cultural heritage.
For the first time in 20 years, NANTA would be holding its AGM in Port Harcourt and this has attracted the attention of some states and other organisations in the old South East zone, who have expressed their readiness to participate in the meeting.
Expected at this yearâ€™s AGM include the Drector General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Runsewe, the head of Board of Directors of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Victor Ndoma-Egba, chairman, and many others who have expressed support for the event and initiatives of the executive council of the body.
Speaking during a press conference in Lagos to announce the event, President of NANTA, Bankole Bernard, said the event was moved to Port Harcourt this year to allow its members have a taste of tourism opportunities and cultural heritages of the Port Harcourt people and environs.
Bernard said the event, which holds from March 22 to 24 would focus on the theme â€“ Symbiotic Relationship of Aviation and Tourism â€“ a key to economic sustainability.
He said that NDDC would partner with NANTA to promote cultural tourism among others in the region, as NDDC is devoted to the development of rural tourism.
Bernard lamented the negative narratives about Niger Delta areas and Port-Harcourt in particular, noting that such stories are exaggerated while promising that NANTA in league with NDDC would work assiduously to change the narratives through positive development.
The NANTA President said the event would help call the attention of the concerned stakeholders that there should be consistent relationship between the aviation and tourism in Nigeria.
â€œIn most developed countries, aviation and tourism are not separated. A good transport system will facilitate the movement of people from one country to another. The potentials in tourism cannot be fully utilised if these two sectors are not adequately harnessed,â€ he added.
During the event, there will be two gala night occasions to appreciate guests. There will also be a walk for tourism across the city to promote tourism development. Some of the sponsors at the event include Ethiopian airlines, Air France, Arik Air, South African tourism, British Airways, Akwa Ibom State governor, amongst others.