posted by Sade Williams
ATQnews.com in partnership with Akwaaba African Travel Market has said that the Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria will hold at the Port Harcourt Bantaba, in Rivers State.
This edition of Bantaba with the awards is unique as Bantaba would be returning after 2 years of absence and with a shift from its traditional Abuja location to the Garden City of Port Harcourt, popularly referred to as the Treasure Base of the Nation.
The event will hold at De Edge Hotel Resort, Port Harcourt on 16th– 17th March, 2017.
“Bantaba” means “Meeting square” in Mandinka language of the The Gambia.
Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria is aimed at recognising and celebrating hotels which have impacted positively on the growth and development of travel and tourism business in Nigeria through maintaining resilience, high quality in service delivery, excellence in operations, top class in infrastructure and steady progress in growth.
It was started in 1999 by Travellers magazine.
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.
Mr. Ikechi Uko, Publisher of ATQNews.com and Organizer of Akwaaba Travel Market, while speaking about this year’s return of Bantaba in Port Harcout, said that, ‘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 4 years Boko Haram disrupted our events in Abuja. As a response to the Honourable Minister’s request, Bantaba is back to Nigeria. It might be rotated to different cities based on request”, he explained.
In order to empower hotels in Nigeria, organizers of Port Bantaba has included a TWO-DAY Master Class training for e-tourism including Trip Advisor, Facebook, Google and other online tools, even as it creates networking opportunities for the participants.
The first day will be training on how to package inbound and outbound tours and admission for day 1 is free. Bantaba is a travel and tourism speed dating event that was first held on Abuja in 2011.
And it was a success story. It was an opportunity for stakeholders in the industry to come together to discuss some of the salient issues affecting the sector and the way forward.
With the Akwaaba annual travel fair, the foremost West African travel fair holding in Lagos, ACCRA Weizo in Ghana, the Bantaba speed dating will offer a platform for travel trade networking in the South-South & South- East region of the country this year.
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; focus on developing the South-South and South East as a tourism destination by attracting several countries in Africa and reducing 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 tourism industry and how they can firmly proffer solutions that would bring decency to the partnership drive for onward development”, he added.
Leading globally rated experts who would be speaking this year include Mr. Damian Cooke 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.
Participants will be provided with materials at the training venue and certificate of attendance.
Some of the past speakers included Mr. Femi Adefope, former Chairman, HRG and former President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, Mr. Harold Demuren, former DG, NCAA.