Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Starwood Hotels in Nigeria Celebrates Easter

Starwood Hotels in Nigeria promises a steady flow of engaging events, family time and exceptional offers this Easter.

The Hotels made up of Sheraton Lagos Hotel, Sheraton Abuja Hotel, Four Points by Sheraton Lagos, Le Meridien Ogeyi Place- Portharcourt and

Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resorts brings the promise of true Easter funfair and tradition, from exciting kiddies Easter egg hunts to lavish buffet meal offerings at the Crockpot, Papillion, Ororo and Brazerie restaurants to great get-away offers on room rates- these packages are created to keep customers happy and satisfied”.

The Area General Manager of Starwood Hotels in Nigeria –Mr. Barry Curran adds “our special offers running from the 28th of March till the 7th of April 2015 are largely targeted at are customers, visitors and families in the sense that people can stay at our hotels with the guarantee of an experiential tailor made Easter filled with memories that will last a life time”.

Barry Curran equally adds “Our special Easter offerings which consist of great bargains on room rates from N19, 999 to the Easter buffet specials which start from N6, 500 have been creatively put together by our seasoned Chefs to deliver truly unforgettable dining experiences”.

The Area General Manager informs all that “most of our packages include amazing offers such as complimentary Wi-Fi, pool, steam room, sauna and gym access as well as welcome drinks on arrival”. He adds “we have not left out kiddies in the merriment as we have planned a variety of entertaining family friendly and fun events from Easter egg hunts to kids only Free bike lessons, all day movie theatre with free popcorn and drinks as well as dedicated kids corners depending on the Hotel, not to forget that children under 6 eat free”.


Mr. Curran finally mentions “We are ready to cater to all the particular needs of our customers this Easter Holiday season and our dedicated teams look forward to delivering great memories”.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Kano tourist attractions make national monument list

By Jimoh Babatunde 
The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) recently requested the permission of the Kano State Emirate to establish an Islamic art museum at the defunct British Council’s premises in Kano. The building housing the British Council Building located near Gidan Makama is said to be about 400 years old and was once used by a former emir of Kano, Muhammadu Rumfa. NCMM said they have also selected five more sites in the state for inclusion in the list of additional national monuments. Here are some of selected tourist sites in Kano.
GIDAN Makama House: Gidan Makama House, once served as the palace of the emir of Kano but now houses a museum with wide spectrum and array of art, craft and artifact representing the history, political and religious heritage of the people.
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Kano City wall



The museum walks you through Kano history from the 9th to 21st century. The museum takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get through. The jihad period and the British invasion of the city in 1901 are really interesting. Another overlooked building is Gidan Dan Hausa, which is the Kano State museum.



Gidan Dan Hausa house has a collection of artifacts from stone age to present day. Gidan Rumfa: This is what the present palace of the emir is known by and it is an enchanting edifice on expansive landscape. Historically, the palace was built during the reign of Emir Muhammadu Rumfa in the 13th Century. It is a vast complex and rich in splendour with a touch of aristocracy. It houses different sections and facilities as well as a mosque.



Kano City Wall/Gates: The city walls and gates are landmarks that open a window to the past existence of the people. Although the original outlook of most of the city walls have been destroyed what now stand are replicas of the preserved walls. This ancient city wall with a 14km radius earth structure was completed in 14th Century to provide security to the growing population of the old Kano city in the wake of any external aggression.
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Gidan Makam Museum



Numbering about 15, the city walls once served as defensive facilities with gate and also demarcated the abode of the indigenes from those of the strangers. The surviving city walls include those located at the Bayero University old campus road; where you come across Sabuwar Kofar, Dan Agundi, Kabuga, Dukawuya and Gadon Kaya. Other sites are Goron hill and Kofar Ruwa while that of Kofar Nasarawa road presents a picture of the renovated wall.



Dala hills: It is one where the first inhabitants of the city settled. Traces of this historical fact are evident as you meander through the area where many of the buildings still retain their rural appeal. Standing atop Dala hill affords one a bird eye’s view of the sprawling city.



Conducive place for tourists



It is a good location for picnic; relaxation and photo shoot with the condition greatly improved over the years to make it conducive place for tourists. At the bottom of the hill is a complex for shopping and other activities.



The last time I was there, the complex was yet to be completed but it is hoped that it would have been made over by now so as to give visitors something to cherish at the centre. Besides Dala Hill, there are other historical sites that give better perspective to the city’s landscape as well. Some of these include Goron Dutse, which is about two kilometers walk from Dala Hill. Others are Magwan in Nasarawa area, Panisau around the Kano airport and the famous Bompai. Accessing them is very easy as there are inbuilt stairways from the base to the top.



Kano Dying Pit: Is one of the renowned spots in the city to watch local artisans at work as they turn out clothe materials of different designs from the dying pit, which is believed to be as one as the city itself.



Various designs are folded into the material before dyeing and the fabric is often beaten to achieve the shiny, indecent appearance.



Works of art on fabric



The techniques employed to obtain the look are unmatched around the world. And, although the methods they use are ancient, these lush works of art on fabric always.
remain extremely popular and continue to be in great demand.



Kurmi Market : Located within the city centre, it remains one of the commercial nerve centres of the city, which over the years was famed for Trans – Sahara trade.



Famed as one of Africa’s oldest market, Kurmi market is an expansive market that a visitor would find intriguing exploring.



The market is a maze of narrow alleys where tourists can find pretty much anything, shop for everything from carvings, calabashes, to jewelery, brass works, leather goods and pottery.



Kano Central Mosque: Located in the emir’s palace vicinity is Kano Central Mosque, which is another captivating landmark of the city. Built around the 15th Century, it has over the years undergone different phases of re-engineering. It has a masterpiece architectural design and facade with a blend of Arabic flavour.



Tiga Dam/Rock Castle: Tiga dam is one of the biggest creations in Kano state. Located outside of the city, it is one of the tourist sites with an attractive ambiance. Boat cruise and spot fishing are some of the water related activities that anyone visiting can enjoy. At the base of the dam is Rock Castle Hotel, which was built in the heydays of the state to house Queen Elizabeth and her entourage during her visit to Nigeria years back.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/01/kano-tourist-attractions-make-national-monument-list-2/#sthash.fqTKESRA.dpuf

Our model for tourism devt in Osun – Daniyan

By Jimoh Babatunde
Tourism is becoming a critical instrument of furthering economic growth in developing countries, generating a large share of worldwide employment , it is estimated that over 10,000 new direct jobs will be created through tourism development programme.
As many developing countries are keying into tourism as a mean of diversifying their economy, Osun state government wanting to reap the abundant benefits of its tourism potentials gathered the best brains to fashion out a tourism master plan for the state which took a look at all the possible resources and arts that can be converted to something you can create cash flow for the state.



The immediate past chairman of the Osun Tourism Board, Engr. Abimbola Daniyan, in a chat with Vanguard in his Oke Pupa office, said the Osun tourism master plan took a a global look in prioritizing them to see say which are the most attractive and those that have economy of scale as well as those with high value.



Economy of scale



Daniyan who also doubled as the Senior Special Assistance to the Governor on tourism before boards and cabinet positions were effectively dissolved noted that Osun is a very fortunate state as there are resources which are visible and those that are not visible.



“What makes both visible and not too visible effective and turn them into assets is our vision. How we see them and how we understand how they can be plugged into economic spheres.”



Tourism in Osun, according to him, enjoys the benefits of multiple resources which they intend converting to assets through creating cash flows around them.



“The most obvious being Osun Osogbo festival, which the whole world gets to hear about year in year out. Another economic assets which is popular is Olumirin water falls.”



He explained that Osun Tourism Investors’ Guide, which is an extract developed from the Osun Tourism Master Plan, contains the state tourism assets and investment blueprints for the major tourist assets that will enable investors know where to put their money .



Daniyan noted that the goal is to set up a model for the rapid social and economic transformation of the state through Public_Private-Partnership. “So what government first did was one to develop infrastructure, a necessary pre condition to have tourists to access the different sites and move around the state.



He added that “we are allowing those who know how to do it to do so, we are taking part either through investment that has token , as the government has put in place an investment structure in which it will have not more than 20% maximum of investment and in some cases it does not have to put a kobo.



Daniyan disclosed this was experimented with at the Olumirin water fall, “ where we were able to realise aboutN14m in that year through gate takings without putting any facility there. We made sure there was no revenue leakage.”



Daniyan explained that the experiment at the fall has shown that there is possibility of making it there. “So the investors can see the potential there as this is a validated data that is published every week on our website and since it is with private sector they can trust them to know they can make profit.”



“He said “ Olumirin water fall is the most visited tourist site in Nigeria today. As at November of 2014, from January to November we had grossed 50,000 visitors. No other tourist site has had that level of patronage . And what do we have there ? Just nature. We had not developed any of the physical facilities to make people stay more and enjoy more to spend more.”



When asked to provide information of what the state will invest in tourism, Daniyan said the total investment required for successful execution of high priority tourism projects is about N15billion and that it is expected that the government will fund basic infrastructure and pilot projects in phase one, while Private investors will fund commercial tourist attractions in phase two and three.



“Now, we know that at Olumirin the preponderant number of visitors are students and young people, mostly from outside of the state. They come from different states of the country. So they need low cost accommodation . We need investment in this area as well as entertainment facilities , just like restaurant . All of this has been put down for us to look for investors .



http://www.vanguardngr.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/tour-a.jpg
Engr. Daniyan
Why listing the phasing of capital investments in some selected tourist sites like Olumirin water falls; Osun International tourist Village; Ile Ife cluster; Ayikunnugba and Kiriji War cluster as well as Yoruba World Heritage City, Daniyan noted that the boar came up with a package to add value to the annual Osun Osogbo festival.



“One of the things you will notice is that we identified major festivals for commercialisation, but how do we go about this packaging?. We realised that the Osun Osogbo festival is the most popular in the state. There is a river side to it, so what a good tourist destination does is to harness the crowd that comes around for the festival.”
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/our-model-for-tourism-devt-in-osun-daniyan/#sthash.avBSrxVo.dpuf





By Jimoh Babatunde
Tourism is becoming a critical instrument of furthering economic growth in developing countries, generating a large share of worldwide employment , it is estimated that over 10,000 new direct jobs will be created through tourism development programme.
As many developing countries are keying into tourism as a mean of diversifying their economy, Osun state government wanting to reap the abundant benefits of its tourism potentials gathered the best brains to fashion out a tourism master plan for the state which took a look at all the possible resources and arts that can be converted to something you can create cash flow for the state.



The immediate past chairman of the Osun Tourism Board, Engr. Abimbola Daniyan, in a chat with Vanguard in his Oke Pupa office, said the Osun tourism master plan took a a global look in prioritizing them to see say which are the most attractive and those that have economy of scale as well as those with high value.



Economy of scale



Daniyan who also doubled as the Senior Special Assistance to the Governor on tourism before boards and cabinet positions were effectively dissolved noted that Osun is a very fortunate state as there are resources which are visible and those that are not visible.



“What makes both visible and not too visible effective and turn them into assets is our vision. How we see them and how we understand how they can be plugged into economic spheres.”



Tourism in Osun, according to him, enjoys the benefits of multiple resources which they intend converting to assets through creating cash flows around them.



“The most obvious being Osun Osogbo festival, which the whole world gets to hear about year in year out. Another economic assets which is popular is Olumirin water falls.”



He explained that Osun Tourism Investors’ Guide, which is an extract developed from the Osun Tourism Master Plan, contains the state tourism assets and investment blueprints for the major tourist assets that will enable investors know where to put their money .



Daniyan noted that the goal is to set up a model for the rapid social and economic transformation of the state through Public_Private-Partnership. “So what government first did was one to develop infrastructure, a necessary pre condition to have tourists to access the different sites and move around the state.



He added that “we are allowing those who know how to do it to do so, we are taking part either through investment that has token , as the government has put in place an investment structure in which it will have not more than 20% maximum of investment and in some cases it does not have to put a kobo.



Daniyan disclosed this was experimented with at the Olumirin water fall, “ where we were able to realise aboutN14m in that year through gate takings without putting any facility there. We made sure there was no revenue leakage.”



Daniyan explained that the experiment at the fall has shown that there is possibility of making it there. “So the investors can see the potential there as this is a validated data that is published every week on our website and since it is with private sector they can trust them to know they can make profit.”



“He said “ Olumirin water fall is the most visited tourist site in Nigeria today. As at November of 2014, from January to November we had grossed 50,000 visitors. No other tourist site has had that level of patronage . And what do we have there ? Just nature. We had not developed any of the physical facilities to make people stay more and enjoy more to spend more.”



When asked to provide information of what the state will invest in tourism, Daniyan said the total investment required for successful execution of high priority tourism projects is about N15billion and that it is expected that the government will fund basic infrastructure and pilot projects in phase one, while Private investors will fund commercial tourist attractions in phase two and three.



“Now, we know that at Olumirin the preponderant number of visitors are students and young people, mostly from outside of the state. They come from different states of the country. So they need low cost accommodation . We need investment in this area as well as entertainment facilities , just like restaurant . All of this has been put down for us to look for investors .



Why listing the phasing of capital investments in some selected tourist sites like Olumirin water falls; Osun International tourist Village; Ile Ife cluster; Ayikunnugba and Kiriji War cluster as well as Yoruba World Heritage City, Daniyan noted that the boar came up with a package to add value to the annual Osun Osogbo festival.



“One of the things you will notice is that we identified major festivals for commercialisation, but how do we go about this packaging?. We realised that the Osun Osogbo festival is the most popular in the state. There is a river side to it, so what a good tourist destination does is to harness the crowd that comes around for the festival.”
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/our-model-for-tourism-devt-in-osun-daniyan/#sthash.avBSrxVo.dpuf
By Jimoh Babatunde
Tourism is becoming a critical instrument of furthering economic growth in developing countries, generating a large share of worldwide employment , it is estimated that over 10,000 new direct jobs will be created through tourism development programme.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/our-model-for-tourism-devt-in-osun-daniyan/#sthash.avBSrxVo.dpuf
By Jimoh Babatunde
Tourism is becoming a critical instrument of furthering economic growth in developing countries, generating a large share of worldwide employment , it is estimated that over 10,000 new direct jobs will be created through tourism development programme.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/03/our-model-for-tourism-devt-in-osun-daniyan/#sthash.avBSrxVo.dpuf

Qatar Airways announces Zanzibar as new route in Africa

DOHA, Qatar – Effective from 1st July 2015, Qatar Airways will launch flights to Zanzibar, the airline’s third gateway in Tanzania after Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro. The new five-times-a-week flight to Zanzibar will operate via Kilimanjaro. The current Kilimanjaro flights which today are served by Qatar Airways via Dar es Salaam will be made non-stop from Doha to Kilimanjaro commencing 1st July 2015, with return flights from Kilimanjaro to Doha served via Zanzibar.
The new destination Zanzibar and the launch of direct flights to Kilimanjaro will add even more options for passengers when travelling to any of the more than 140 destinations served by Qatar Airways. Similarly, passengers from the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe can now take advantage of connections to these Tanzanian cities via Doha’s hub, Hamad International Airport.
The mystic spice island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean will take the total number of destinations in the airline’s African network to 20 cities. The new destination makes a perfect island holiday spot for leisure travellers with its white sandy beaches, abundant wild life, rich culture and long history.
“Today’s announcement of new services to Zanzibar reflects our commitment to connect diverse cities via our Doha hub and offer our passengers an extensive range of exciting global destinations. As our 20th gateway in Africa, Zanzibar will strengthen our presence as one of the biggest airlines flying to the African continent,” said Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker.
Qatar Airways’ African expansion in the past weeks has included the announcement of a new destination Durban and increase in flights to Johannesburg which will launch on 17th December 2015, and also an increase in frequency to Cape Town from 1st October this year.


Qatar Airways has been operating in Tanzania ever since the airline launched flights to Dar es Salaam in 2007. The Tanzanian operation was expanded in 2012 when the airline launched flights to Kilimanjaro.
“I would like to thank the Tanzanian government for supporting our newest route to Zanzibar. The exposure of Zanzibar to the world through Qatar Airways’ global network will enable Tanzania to attract even more tourists and businesses alike,” added Mr. Al Baker.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 18 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 150 aircraft to 146 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.
The Doha – Kilimanjaro – Zanzibar route will be operated with an Airbus A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

British Airways Delight Travel Consultants with Strategic Commercial Meeting in Washington



Lagos, Nigeria; March 23, 2015: As part of measures to commend and show appreciation for partners support, British mega carrier, British Airways recently hosted its travel consultants based in Northern Nigeria to a strategic commercial meeting in Washington DC. The meeting was aimed at rewarding the partners unflinching support to British Airways Nigerian business operations.

The strategic commercial meeting, a direct interactive gathering with the British Airways Travel consultants also serves as a platform to receive one-on-one feedback on British Airways products and services.

Speaking at the meeting which had the top six British Airways Travel Management Companies in Abuja and Kano in attendance, Kola Olayinka, British Airways Regional Commercial Manager, West Africa, noted that year 2014 was a good year for the company in Nigeria. 
According to Olayinka the success would not have been possible without the support of the partners who remain a critical factor in British Airways business success in Nigeria.

‘We are always out to delight our partners in a very special way. Our industry is a very engaging one hence every opportunity we have to mix business with pleasure is always highly welcome. At British Airways, we value the role of our partners in our business and this meeting is another opportunity to share experiences, thoughts and ideas that would be of mutual benefits, Olayinka said.
He highlighted that the meeting is also aimed at addressing the challenges that could be an impediment to business operations so that both partners can help nip them in the bud to continuously ensure a seamless business relationship.

In his remarks, Ademola Sanya, National Sales Manager, British Airways noted that the airline is very much interested in offering assistance that will ensure profitability in the business of the partners. “We always bring out new things and new ways of forging ahead in our business. Last year we took our Agents to Los Angeles; to Hollywood, to discuss the way forward in business, this year, it’s the White House in Washington,Sanya said.

The meeting had the presence of managing director, Silver Wings Travels Kano, Mahmoud Said, managing director, Ola Eghoni.  Classique Travels, Binta Dhaco. Managing director, Topaz Travels Susan Akporiaye. Managing Director, Jireh Travels, Solomon Awe and managing director, LAWSTA Travels Angela George-Okoro.

The partners were treated to different places including seat of power at the White House, the memorial arcade, the Capitol as well as other notable United States monuments within the Washington area.

The team came away from the trip with sound business decisions on how to improve trade between Abuja and Washington as well as Lagos and Washington.

BA now flies to Washington twice a day from Heathrow Terminal 5, London with Airbus 380 and B-777 Aircrafts.  

Lekki conservation centre: Place away from Lagos bustling

By Jimoh Babatunde
In between the building surrounding the striking multi-purpose Rotunda , a peacock iridescent blue and green plumage feathers exposing the beauty of the bird welcome us as we move into the Lekki Conservation Centre tucked inside the bustling sprawl of Lagos away from the maddening crowd and noise the city is noted for.
The Lekki Conservation Centre, LCC, covering a land area of 78 hectare, is a conservation initiative to protect wildlife found in south west coastal environment of Nigeria in the face of sprawling urban development.
The conservation education centre has continued to attract both local and international interests, serving as an education and resource centre to varieties of groups, majority of which are schools and tourists.
Under the scorching sun, Lucky George, Precious Ogbebor and I set out for the game viewing knowing fully well that prime time for viewing flora or fauna at LCC, is especially in the morning when it’s coolest and the humidity is not as oppressive, plus when the animals are most active.
Not deter by the heat, we move into the conservation area after we were bailed from paying the mandatory N500 gate fee by LCC's media man , Kunle Olawoyin.
The trail leading to the forest
Moving into the nature reserve through the trail board-walk which was constructed in 1992 to enrich tourists/visitors view of the vast resources of the nature reserve, we could see very far through the trees.





Lucky on the newly constructed canopy

This is so at this time of the year, March, when the rain has not fully commence, the bottom of the huge palms that reach into the sky has become dried unlike in the raining season that they are covered with lush green leaves .
The nature reserve traverses a mosaic of vegetation types, namely: secondary forest, swamp forest and Savannah grassland.
We have hardly moved some few meters on the 2km stretch trail that Ogbebor sighted Mona monkeys with babies — swinging through the tops of the trees , she reaches out to her Ipad for a quick photo snap.
“Here Mona monkeys are common sights, you will see more as we walk round” the Media head of the conservation centre said as he takes us on historical lane as to when the conservation was establish and what it is meant to serve.

HOW IT STARTED
Koi fish at the new pond
Kunle, Lucky, Precious and Jimoh
Olawoyin said the establishment of LCC was born out of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF)’s relentless commitment to conservation of Nigeria’s vast natural resources. “This commitment was heightened by the presence of its National Secretariat in Lagos, thus warranting the need to have a conservation project site within Lagos metropolis that will serve as biodiversity conservation icon and environment education centre.
He added “This laudable concept could have come at no better time going by the daily degradation of the city’s remaining natural environment fragments due to ceaseless urbanisation; thus, making LCC one of the few natural environment relics within the city.”
Lucky interjects, apart from the Mona monkeys are there other animals here? Olawoyin says there are Monitor lizards, huge turtles, bush bucks, Maxwell duikers and giant rats. He adds that one of the turtles died seven months ago at almost 100 years.
Before he finished, Ogbebor asked if there are snakes around? With laughter one of the guards that accompanied us said there are Pythons but they are nocturnal animals, “even if you see any now, it is as good as useless.” Olawoyin added that to spot the animals will take patience .
Because of her size, Precious Ogbebor was already panting for breath before we get to one of the five rest stops
A wooden platform overlooking the swamp habitat provides seats to be still, listen and look for fish, birds or the occasional crocodile. Rest stops are conveniently situated about every 250 meters or about every sixth of a mile.
From the rest spot, we sight the newly constructed longest canopy walkway in the continent of Africa just constructed by the Lagos state government. “This is in partnership with Lagos state government on Eco-tourism here.” Olawoyin said.
The Canopy walk is funded by the Lagos State Government through the state Ministry of Tourism and Intergovernmental Relations, the walk way will soon be commissioned and opened to the tourists.
As we move to take a walk on the canopy, Olawoyin voice came up again saying this “ Canopy is 401 meters and the peak is 22.5 meters and everything is within the forest. We used Aluminium and not wood like you have in Calabar.”
Before he finishes, we are already climbing with the forest guard, but Kunle, Precious and I withdraw either for fear of height or fatigue. Lucky continues with the canopy walk while we make our way to the tree house through the trail.

TREE HOUSE
The tree house is one of the most fascinating features one can ever come across in an ecotourism zone. The tree house, stylishly seated on a stout dawadawa tree (Pakia biglobossa) rises above 25m. A well protected ladder is ruggedly mounted behind the tree to enable nature enthusiasts reach to tree house to savour the panoramic view of the tree canopy.
Though we could not climb the tress house as it is under renovation, we had another rest at the foot of the tree.
With voices of Lucky and the guard re-echoing from the canopy, we move to join them as they descend . We soon reconnect to savour the forest outlook from the bird hide which enables avid bird watchers snipe at unaware avifauna that are wading through the pool overlooked by the hide or foraging within the vicinity.
Olawoyin explains that bird lovers can observe or photograph herons or egrets wading or foraging in a marsh just outside the dark from the bird hide.
“Some of the 118 recorded resident, migratory and some rare birds calling LCC home include the white-throated bee-eater, black-crowned crane, African jacana, Senegal Coucal, African harrier-hawk, Swamp Palm Bulbul and Viellot’s Weaver.”
Asked the feeling taking a walk on the canopy, Lucky enthused, “cool experience, wonderful as you can see the entire forest up there . I will want to do it again if I have the opportunity.”

PICNIC AREA
The picnic area is a recreation island in the middle of a forest. It has a semi-enclosed block structure containing the indoor picnic facilities and conveniences. The outdoor has outdoor game facilities mostly for children.
Some few meter walk take you to the newly constructed Eco-Park facilities at the Lekki Conservation Centre such as fish ponds, jungle gym, outdoor games, and Gazebos among others.
Pointing to some coloured fish in the pond, I ask what they are called. “ They are called Koi fish from Japan.” Olawoyin replied
“This fish is most famous by its beautiful colors that have been created via selective breeding. There are over 20 different varieties of koi fish that differ in color, patterns and type of scales.”
The open area of the park will definitely be a pull for young tourists and those young at heart with the addition of the large floor ludo and chess games.
Olawoyin nodding said over two million tourists of more than 100 nationals have visited LCC since inception.
“Most of NCF’s School Conservation Clubs were established following the impact of students/teachers’ visit to the Centre. It will suffice to say that LCC has achieved, and it is still achieving the goal of educating the public both young and old on the need to conserve natural resources.
“The various tiers of government are not left out from paradigm shift from infallible conservation lessons learnt from visiting the Centre.”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Sheraton Hotels in Nigeria Celebrates Women in March

Sheraton Hotels in Nigeria Celebrates Women in March

Partners with Pandora and Kalahari

Sheraton Hotels in Nigeria made up of Sheraton Lagos Hotel and Sheraton Abuja Hotel has recently joined efforts to commemorate the International Women’s Day as well as Mother’s Day.


Women of all ages and works of life are encouraged to bring friends and family to connect in any of the 2 hotels within reasonable location.

The Sheraton Lagos and Sheraton Abuja teams have put together some exciting packages which include fine dining with special discounts of up to 40%, gym membership discounts and free group work outs in the Sheraton fitness which are guaranteed to connect women and help old friend’s catchup during fitness sessions.

The Area General Manager of Starwood Hotels in Nigeria-Mr. Barry Curran mentions that “Each female diner that visits our restaurants during the month of March will be entered into a Raffle to win special Prizes ranging from Kalahari Lifestyle products, Pandora Jewelry items as well as free night stay vouchers at both of our Sheraton Hotels in Nigeria.

Mr. Curran equally informs all female customers that “you have to be a Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) to be eligible for the raffle draw and SPG membership is free of charge on site or at www.spg.com.”

The Area General Manager adds “Our two partners for this initiative-Pandora and Kalahari are happy to offer 10% off when you show our Sheraton Hotels in Nigeria Women’s month in March flyer at their stores in Nigeria.

Barry Curran finally mentions that “ Husbands, partners and children are always welcome to dine in our restaurants; however the discount is only valid for Women, this is our own special way of recognizing and honoring our women, pampering them and encouraging them to connect and form more valuable friendships through all our packages, partners and activities this March’’.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sheraton hotels anticipates strong year of growth

 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced its iconic Sheraton brand continues to power ahead across the globe with at least 20 new hotel openings expected by year’s end. Leveraging its ‘first-mover’ advantage, Sheraton will enter Sri Lanka and Romania this year, building upon the momentum of its 2014 debut in Tajikistan and last month’s launch in Samoa. Strong demand across Asia Pacific is driving future pipeline growth, putting Sheraton on track to cross the 500th hotel milestone in 2016.
 
“Boasting the largest and most global portfolio of all of Starwood’s brands, Sheraton expects to open more than 50 hotels and enter another 14 countries by the end of 2018. This continued expansion follows our multi-billion dollar investment to enhance the brand over the past several years,” said Hoyt Harper, Global Brand Leader for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.  “Sheraton has enjoyed phenomenal success with global travelers due to its dynamic brand-led programming and innovative social spaces that engage and inspire guests to connect with what matters most—no matter where they are in the world.”
 
Rising Demand across Asia Pacific Drives Pipeline Growth
Sheraton will open more than one-third of its new hotels in Asia Pacific in 2015, driven by accelerating demand across China. Already the largest high-end hotel brand in China, Sheraton is growing in primary cities, as well as in China’s secondary and resorts markets. This year, Sheraton will open its third hotel in Beijing, its fifth in Shanghai and debut in five new markets including Bengbu, Chuzhou, Zhanjiang and Harbin. Meanwhile, the brand’s development pipeline in China continues to swell, with another 33 hotels slated to open over the next four years.
 
Sheraton will expand its footprint in India with the debut of Sheraton Hyderabad Hotel in 2016, and another two hotels in development. The global powerhouse will also enter Sri Lanka with the opening of Sheraton Colombo Hotel in 2016 and will open its second hotel in Samoa this year.
 
“Sheraton holds firm in helping to widen Starwood’s lead as the largest upper upscale and luxury hotel operator in Asia Pacific, including China, accounting for nearly 46% of the company’s rooms in the region,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development for Starwood.  “Building on its ‘first-mover’ legacy, Sheraton has facilitated the development of meaningful, long-term relationships with owners and developers in mature and emerging markets not only in Asia Pacific, but in all corners of the world, paving the way for the further development of all of Starwood’s high-caliber brands.”

Sheraton to Expand Footprint in Diverse Global Markets
Sheraton is extending its reach in Europe with several debuts in sought-after destinations. Key openings this year include Sheraton Lake Como Hotel, the brand’s eighth in Italy. Overlooking the spectacular Lake Como, the hotel offers a park-like setting within close proximity of the historic and picturesque city. Sheraton will also enter Romania this year with the opening of Sheraton Bucharest, a strategic conversion in an ideal downtown location. In addition, the global hotel icon will expand its portfolio in Croatia with the debut of Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera, add one more hotel in Russia, and grow its portfolio in Turkey with the opening of its second hotel in Istanbul and its first in Samsun, which celebrated its soft launch early in the year.
 
Two openings in the Middle East will amplify the Sheraton brand’s presence in the region, where it has another five in the development pipeline. Meanwhile, the brand’s portfolio in the United Arab Emirates will increase to seven hotels by year’s end with the opening of Sheraton Sharjah Beach Resort & Spa.
 
Sheraton maintains its role in strengthening Starwood’s position as a leading global hotel operator in Africa. Sheraton Dakar Hotel is slated to open in 2016, marking the brand’s debut in Senegal. Another five Sheraton hotels are in development across in Africa in markets such as Mauritania, Rwanda and South Sudan
 
Sheraton Drives Growth Across the Americas
Sheraton Hotels keeps boasting Starwood’s largest development pipeline. In 2015, the global powerhouse will open two new hotels in North America—Mesa, AZ and McKinney, TX—and break ground in Georgetown, TX. Moreover, several conversions are expected to be signed and opened in North America within the year.
 
Sheraton is well-positioned for sustained, high-quality growth across Latin America, as well. The upcoming opening of Sheraton Cartagena will give the brand a second hotel in Colombia and increase its total portfolio in Latin America to 37 hotels. In 2016, the brand will return to Bolivia with the opening of Sheraton Santa Cruz. Last year, Sheraton opened its sixth hotel in Brazil—Sheraton Reserva do Paiva Hotel and Convention Center and returned to the Dominican Republic with the opening of Sheraton Santo Domingo Hotel.

British Airways 'Does The Double' Winning Top Business And Consumer Superbrands



 British Airways has 'done the double' at the Superbrands 2015 awards, winning both the Business and Consumer titles.

The airline also secured the Consumer Superbrands title last year, but this is the first time any carrier has secured both the top titles. Google was the last brand to win both categories in 2008.

It means that British Airways has beaten Apple, Virgin Atlantic, Microsoft and Visa to the top business brand slot and Rolex, BBC, Microsoft and Nike to the best consumer brand accolade.


The UK's Consumer Superbrands are chosen by the British public in a national survey of 2,500 adults, while the Business Superbrands are chosen by a panel of marketing experts and 2,000 individual business professionals from across the UK.

Keith Williams, British Airways' Executive Chairman, said: "We want to say a huge thank you to our customers for helping us to secure this top spot. Everything we do is for them so to be recognised by both travellers and businesses alike means an enormous amount to all of us at British Airways."

Stephen  Cheliotis,  Chief  Executive of The Centre for Brands Analysis and Chairman of the Superbrands Council, said: "British Airways has consolidated  its  brand  strength  and  not  only retained top spot in the Consumer Superbrands survey but also taken pole position in the  Business Superbrands survey for the first time. To lead both surveys is remarkable, especially considering over 1,500 well-known consumer brands and 1,200 business brands were analysed. British Airways' overarching 'To Fly: To Serve' positioning and daily focus on exceptional service clearly continues to resonate with flyers, while the brand is also benefitting from recent investments in its planes, lounges, marketing and technology. While a much-loved heritage brand, British Airways continues to be recognised for its focus on customer-centric innovation, seen this year through programmes like the hi-tech happiness blanket trial, its pioneering partnership with Solena Fuels and its Cannes Lion award for an innovative digital campaign. In short, British Airways successfully combines tradition with slick delivery and continuous invention and improvement to remain a trusted, desirable and relevant brand."

The awards also come just ahead of the publication on April 28 of a new book, Better By Design: Shaping the British Airways Brand, written by the director of the British Airways archive, Paul Jarvis and published by Amberley.  The book includes a foreword by Keith Williams, Executive Chairman of British Airways and it will cost £17.99.

NTDC information desk come alive at Abuja Airport




In continuation of its bid to present a better image of Nigeria to the
International community as well as strengthening, improved domestic tourism in Nigeria, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has unveiled the Tourism Information Desk at Abuja international airport.
The Tourism Information portal comes alive at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport on Monday when the Director General of NTDC Dr. Mrs. Sally Mbanefo unveiled the portal in Abuja, saying that information desk will assist tourist with the general knowledge of tourism industry in Nigeria. 


The   Director General ,  Nigerian  Tourism Development Corporation  (NTDC) Chief . Dr. ( Mrs.) Sally Mbanefo  assisting the Airport Manager, Mr.Mohammed Muktar to cut the tape during the commissioning of the  NTDC stand recently held    at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport,  Abuja while others look on. 




She noted that launching of the information desk is part of corporation efforts towards promoting domestic tourism and assisting in gathering and collating data of tourist entering Nigeria. 
According to her, the information desk will no doubt showcase Nigeria tourism assets. 
She disclosed: “The reason we are unveiling this portal is to give Nigerians information about our numerous tourism sites that not known to tourist. As you know we are promoting domestic tourism which means that before we can begin to market outsider we want foreigner seeing many Nigerians enjoying what we have. 
“Nigeria have so many tourism attracted sites but nobody know them, that is why we are going to different states to known what they have so as to market those sites for the state government in order to increase revenue generation in the country not only that this will provide job opportunity for our teaming unemployed population.
 “The information Centre will equally assist through ease enquires for both arrival and departure tourist. 
“We have already gotten approval for two airports, we got approval for  Abuja and Lagos to start with and will soon be replicate in all international airport in Nigeria.” She assured. 
Speaking further, Mbanefo added that initiatives will also promote security of tourists by recommending to tourists the accredited taxis and hotels.
“We are partnering with company call VIKO the taxi car hire service at the airport the ideal is to let arrived travellers to know that there is security safety in Nigeria with this NTDC will recommended for them the credible and accredited taxi and hotels in Nigeria.
 “NTDC want to use this to market the tourism asset of Nigeria and to really improve the image of Nigeria, we believe our image is good we will not allow people to spoil the good image of Nigeria and tourism is here to make that difference.”
 While thanking the Minister of Aviation Mr. Osita Chidoka for the opportunity given NTDC by given a bigger space where marketing Nigeria is going to be easier for the corporation. 
 “We want Nigerian to know that tourism is here to stay and tourism is here to replace oil” she said.
 In her remarks, the head of FAAN Communication Mrs. Yakubu Henrietta lauds the NTDC initiatives saying that information desk at airport will go a long way in promoting Nigerian culture.
 This stand that have been open today by NTDC is truly great, this desk will promote Nigeria a lot, any foreigner coming into the country and with this stand here they will now come and begin to ask about Nigeria tourist sites which hotel to visit it will really promote our culture .
 “I am happy that this stand is located in a very strategies place in the airport that will allow anybody’s that comes will see the information desk both at international and domestic sides this is a very good development,” she said