Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rae-Omoh Promises Synergy with Professionals, Stakeholders

THE Acting Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, said she would work with professional bodies, associations and stakeholders to move the industry forward.

Rae-Omoh revealed this when the Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) paid her a courtesy visit in her office, in Abuja, on Thursday.

While describing the stakeholders and private sector as the main drivers of the industry, Rae-Omoh said, “I’ll build a strong alliance with the stakeholders and professional bodies in the industry to move it forward.”

She also promised to boost the socio-economic activities and development of minority ethnic groups through promotion of untapped tourism potentials in Nigeria.

Rae-Omoh added: “Tourism is an important instrument for poverty reduction, economic growth, biodiversity conservation, employment creation, community empowerment, grassroots development and revenue generation.

“In line with this, NTDC as the apex tourism policy implementation agency under my administration will effectively carry out its mandate with the support of the Public-Private Partnership and staff of the Corporation.”

Earlier in his speech, HATMAN President, Mr Badaki Aliyu, who congratulated the Acting DG on her appointment, described her as a professional who understands the language of the industry and is willing to drive the industry for development and productivity.

Aliyu said the main objective of HATMAN is to entrench professionalism in the hospitality and tourism industries, which according to him, the association will achieve through training

While disclosing the willingness of the association to collaborate with NTDC to ensure that the industry moves forward, Aliyu prayed that God should give her the wisdom to sail the ship of the industry and confirm her appointment to as Director General, NTDC. In his company for the courtesy

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tourism: Gov. Obaseki explores potentials of Amarho water-side

Gov.Godwin Obaseki of Edo has visited the Amahor waterside to ascertain the tourism potential of two rivers which formed a confluence at Amahor town in Igueben Local Government Area of the state.
During the tour around the water-side, which is located inside a forest reserve, the governor visited a rest house used by colonial masters when they visited the water-side and rain forest.
He said that the area, when developed, would boost economic activities and draw tourist attraction to view the natural wonder of the rivers that do not mix.
According to Obaseki, government is trying to identify economic opportunities and also the land marks we have for economic activities such as that for tourism and agricultural production.

‘’We understand that we have a lot of land marks and space here.

‘’Most importantly, we came here to appreciate nature and begin to direct interest to places like this so that people can come here for relaxation and to appreciate nature’’, he said.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lai Muhammed Charges Stakeholders On Tourism Development

MINISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, has called on tourism stakeholders in the country to put their hands on deck and move the industry to the next level.

Alhaji Muhammed made the call in his address at the public presentation and lunching of the book titled, “Redefining Tourism in Nigeria: The Real Issues and Challenges Vol. 1-3” at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.

The Minister, represented by the Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun, explained that, “This effort must be collective and should attract the best of Public-Private Partnership.”
The Acting Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh ( Red Head Tie ); Amanyabo of Brass Kingdom , Co-Chair Pan Niger Delta Forum (PNDF) , His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff , OFR (Red Hat) with others during the Presentation and Launch of the Book: Redefining Tourism in Nigeria: The Real Issues and Challenges Vol.1-3 held at the Auditorium Yaradua Centre in Abuja recently.

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He added that “Nigeria has strong comparative advantages in the Hospitality and Tourism industry because of its diverse cultural heritage that are all disposed to what is commonly referred to as the Nigerian hospitality.

“This great nation is indeed blessed with abundant natural and cultural resources that are well blended for tourists’ delight and might I add, a strong emphasis on domestic tourism. It is against this background that the Federal Government is committed to repositioning tourism as one of the levers for economic growth and development in the country,” Lai Muhammed said.

Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, earlier in her speech emphasised her commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian youth embraces tourism.

This, according to her, informed the efforts of the Corporation to promote youth tourism.

She explained that “I have always been a crusader of youth tourism, even before I became the Acting DG. And now, the efforts have been geared up as the Corporation under my administration is committed to heightening the interest of the youth in tourism, making them appreciate the inherent rewards of the money-spinning sector.”

Rae-Omoh, who disclosed that the book will educate the young generation on the importance of tourism, noted that the tourism book as long overdue.

The tourism book is centered on changing the perception of Nigerian people on the place of tourism to the overall national development objective.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Murcia to host the 1st UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations

To advance and shape a tourism model for the 21st century based on innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility – these are the aims of the World Conference on Smart Destinations to be held in Murcia on 15-17 February, organized by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda of Spain, and the Region of Murcia.
A few weeks following the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the city of Murcia has picked up the baton to offer a platform for the discussion of key issues in the global agenda of the sector, such as innovation, technology, sustainability and accessibility.
The 1st UNWTO World Conference on Smart Destinations will bring together government representatives, private sector entities, researchers and academics, as well as technology centres. Among the topics to be addressed is that of digital applications that make it possible to offer increasingly customized services and to differentiate tourist destinations that provide added value while preserving the natural, social and cultural environment.
“These themes, which are priorities of the work of the World Tourism Organization, define 21st century tourism: committed to ecosystems, local cultures and to economic and social development,” explained UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai. “It will be impossible to capitalize on the potential of tourism in aspects such as job creation and socioeconomic development if we do not commit to and move towards sustainable practices that are respectful of the environment and local communities,” he underlined.
The Conference includes an academic block in which research related to 21st century tourism will be presented. A session will also feature entrepreneurs who have developed highly innovative products or services in the area of smart destinations.
The event will conclude with the reading of a manifesto summarizing the contributions of the participants, which will form the basis of the first UNWTO report on smart destinations.
The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, declared by the United Nations General Assembly and led by UNWTO, constitutes a common tool for global action towards a more responsible, inclusive and prosperous sector. To this end, the organizations in charge of the Conference encourage governments, private sector entities, consumers and civil society organizations to join the campaign and share their experiences.

LASG to make Badagry tourism hub of Africa — Commissioner

Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, Lagos State Acting Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, said on Monday in Badagry that the state government was determined to transform the ancient town into the tourism hub of Africa.

Akinsola spoke with reporters after an on-the-spot assessment of some ongoing tourist projects in Badagry.

Among the Tourist Sites visited by the Acting Commissioner were the Badagry Heritage Museum, the Marina shoreline, the slave market and the Gberefu Island, otherwise known as the `Point-of-no-Return’.

Akinsola explained that the purpose of the inspection was to enable the state government to be able to evaluate the progress of work on the projects.

“The Lagos State Government is determined to transform Badagry into the tourism hub of Africa and we are committed to the ongoing projects in the ancient city.

“The purpose of the inspection is to get first-hand information on the various sites and to see how the ongoing facelift of the projects are going.
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“At the Heritage Museum, a lot of progress is being recorded and with the pace at which the workers are going, I’m sure that the project would be finished ahead of schedule.

“Also at the Marina shoreline, work is ongoing and I am sure we will get the desired effects of the project, so we are glad at the way things are turning out.

“The Lagos State Government is determined to transform Badagry into a mega city and with the completion of the various projects, the ancient town will be opened up to the world,” she said.

The commissioner, therefore, urged residents of Badagry to always pay their taxes to the state government.

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“If taxes are paid regularly, the state government would be enabled to continue to improve the welfare of the people. So, people should always ensure that their taxes are paid as and when due,” she added.

Qatar Airways aircraft incident caused by bird strike — NCAA

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said the air return made by a Qatar Airways aircraft on Feb. 9 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was caused by a bird strike on one of its engines.

The NCAA made the clarification in a statement signed by its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr Sam Adurogboye and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Sunday.

“The Qatar Airways Airbus A330 with Registration no.A7 – AED, Flight no.1408 scheduled operation from Lagos to Doha ,received a push back to take off from the MMIA at 14.45hrs UTC.

“On board were 256 passengers and 10 Crew members.

“At 16.18hrs UTC, the Pilot-in-Command (PIC) made an air return to MMIA. He took this decision after the aircraft suffered bird strike in flight.

“The bird strike hit the No.1 Engine. On its safe return to MMIA, diligent inspection was carried out on the aircraft. However, finding disclosed no damage,” Adurogboye said.

He said since there was no damage, the aircraft was cleared and it recommenced the operation and departed at 17.30hrs UTC.

According to him, it is pertinent to point out that the Aircraft Pilot adhered to the Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) in undertaking an air return.

Adurogboye said this was to carry out an assessment of the impact of the bird strike before continuing the flight.

“The NCAA wishes to assure Nigerians that it will continue to ensure robust safety oversight of the industry for safe and secure air transportation,” he added.  

Ethiopian Airline receives third airbus

Ethiopian Airlines, the largest and fastest growing African airline, announced that it had received its third Airbus A350 XWB on Feb. 1.

The airline made the announcement in a statement issued by its Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Tewolde GebreMariam in Lagos on Saturday.

GebreMariam explained that the aircraft was named after Erta Ale, a large basaltic shield volcano located in the Afar Region of north-eastern Ethiopia.

According to him, as part of the airline’s continuous fleet modernisation programme, it has now phased in a third Airbus A350 XWB 900 to further improve customers’ experience.

The group CEO said both the B-787 Dreamliner and the Airbus A-350 were the most technologically advanced airplanes in the world today.

“We are highly delighted that we are one of the very few airlines in the world to own and operate both airplanes at their early stage in service.

“Ethiopian Airlines customers will have the special privilege of experiencing the superior features and services of both airplanes.

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“These environmentally green airplanes are enabling us to expand our vast network to new and exciting destinations like Oslo in Norway, Singapore, Chengdu in China, Jakarta in Indonesia, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and Antananarivo in Madagascar,” he said.

GebreMariam said that apart from the on board game changing aircraft, passengers would experience the latest high-definition touch-screen personal monitors with even more movies, television series, and audio channels.

The airline boss further explained that passengers would also enjoy wider seats and larger windows, the lowest twin engine noise level in the skies, advanced air conditioning technology, and full LED mood lighting.

“All of these amenities will enhance comfort and reduce jet-lag after a long flight,” he said.

GebreMariam said the new aircraft had a configuration of 30 Cloud Nine business, 313 economy class seats.

Ethiopian airline was the first African Airline to take delivery of Airbus A350 XWB in 2016.