AKWAABA, also known as Africa Travel Market (AFTM), held its conference and exhibition at the tourism expo, at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, from Monday, September 22nd to Tuesday, September 24.
The event, which is an annual one, started in 2004 and aimed at gathering together and creating avenue for networking for seasoned professionals, tourist stakeholders, travelers, airlines and hospitality practitioners. It serves an eye opener to African countries on the available resource in tourism, travel and in the hospitality sector.
Now in its 15th year, the AKWAABA events have been successful and have attracted exhibitors from over 25 countries and numerous attendees from around the globe.
The organizer of AKWAABA says: “Africa, with 54 countries and a population of 1.2 billion, has an unbelievable tourist attraction. The Caribbean and African diaspora have a unique culture, rich heritage and beautiful destinations for tourists, hence the need to connect and combine these wonderful cultures and population, creating a huge global market.”
“The fair has opened the door to Nigeria and Africa tourism markets and served as a platform for exchange of cultural and tourism potentials among participating countries,” it adds.
The event featured discussion panels, exhibitions, cultural displays, conferences, award ceremonies and various competitions.
On the first day of the event, senior officials from Uganda thrilled participants about the tourist locations in the country, its rich cultural heritage and festivities and also about the hospitable climate and people of Uganda which earned them “The Pearl of Africa”.
The second day featured great cuisine exhibition by Dubai Chefs. This was used to highlight the rich food available in Dubai. Also, the Gambia representative showcased and gave everyone an insight into the rich cultural heritage, hospitality and tourist sites available in Gambia.
The moderator speaks extensively on the 5 A’s governing travel tours, hospitality agencies and countries on the final day. He listed them as:
1. ACCESSIBILITY implies how accessible is a country towards tourist attraction.
2. ACCOMODATION implies how easy is it getting an accommodation in any country of destination. This role is played by travel agents.
3. AMENITIES deals with the available haulage or logistics which includes transportation in any country.
4. ACTIVITIES answers the question of WHAT TO DO and HOW TO DO THEM.
5. ATTRACTION requires the basic knowledge of the available resources, cultures, heritage in a country majorly facilitated by the tour guide.
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