ATQnews.com has partnered with Akwaaba African Travel Market for the Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria scheduled to hold during the Port Harcourt Bantaba at De Edge Hotel Resort, Port Harcourt between 16 and 17, March 2017. in Rivers State.
This edition of Bantaba is going to be unique as the event would be returning after two years of absence, with a shift from its traditional Abuja location to Port Harcourt.
Bantaba which means “Meeting square” in Mandinka language which is hosting the Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria is aimed at recognising and celebrating he hotels which have impacted positively on the growth and development of travel and tourism business in Nigeria through maintaining resilience, high quality services, excellence operations, infrastructure and steady progress in growth.
The event started in 1999 by Travellers magazine where 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.
According to the Publisher of ATQNews.com and organiser of Akwaaba Travel Market, Mr Ikechi Uko, “this year’s return of Bantaba in Port Harcourt is going to be another innovative platform to boost stakeholders business and also at give value and relevance to the industry.
‘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 four years Boko Haram disrupted our events in Abuja.“But as a response to the Minister’s request, Bantaba is back to Nigeria. It might be rotated to different cities based on request, Mr Ikechi explained.
He added that the awards for the Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria will hold at the Travellers Night Dinner at De Edge Hotel Resort in the Garden City on March 16, 2017.
“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 with focus on developing the South-South and South East as a tourism destination by attracting several countries in Africa which reduces 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 travel industry and how they can firmly proffer solutions that would bring decency to the partnership drive for onward development,” Mr Uko concluded.
Subsequently, three foreign Ministers have signified interest to attend this year’s Port Harcourt Bantaba. They are Timothy McPherson, Finance Minister of Acompong, Jamaica, Walter Mzembi, Tourism Minister for Zimbabwe and Alain St Ange, Tourism Minister for Seychelles.
While Syechelles and Acompong will be making a maiden appearance at the event, same cannot be said about Zimbabwe as they were well represented by the Deputy Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry of Zimbabwe, Annastacia Ndlouv at last year’s 12th Akwaaba Travel Market, held in Lagos.
In Zimbabwe, tourism is recognised in successive economic blue prints as an economic pillar and it is under the Value Addition and Beneficiation Cluster of ZIMASSET.
Leading globally rated experts who will be speaking this year include Mr Damian Cook 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