Praise and Acclaim for Akwaaba 2023: Applause from Tourism Experts and Stakeholders


Welcome to the Akwaaba African Travel Market, an annual international event held in Lagos, Nigeria. This grand gathering is tailored for businesses, investors, government decision-makers, and industry buyers in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sectors. It serves as a platform to explore lucrative business prospects, stay updated on industry trends, and showcase a diverse array of products from both Africa and the global stage.

The recently concluded 19th edition of Akwaaba African Travel Market (AFTM) in 2023 once again proved to be a boon for industry stakeholders, fostering valuable networking opportunities and facilitating growth. This three-day extravaganza brought together professionals from the realms of tourism, aviation, and hospitality, taking place from September 3 to 5, 2023, at the esteemed Eko Hotel & Suites, situated on Victoria Island in Lagos.

The venue buzzed with energy as it played host to a multitude of ceremonies and captivating performances. Among the highlights were various dance troupes, the vibrant Calabar Carnival dance groups, the rhythmic beats of the Lagos State talking drum troupe, enchanting Eyo masquerades, the charismatic event mascot, WoW 360, and a plethora of other engaging experiences.

The AFTM 2023, hosted at the prestigious Eko Hotel and Suites on Victoria Island, delved into various pressing issues within the industry, notably the persistent rise in international airfares.

The 19th AFTM, inaugurated by Governor Bassey Otu of Cross River State, commenced with a dazzling display of ceremonies and activities. These included the electrifying dance performances by the Calabar Carnival dancers, the rhythmic beats of the Lagos State talking drummers, and the presence of the event mascot, among others. The highlight of the opening ceremony was the presentation of the Travellers awards to deserving individuals and organizations.

Governor Otu, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to Ambassador Ikechi Uko, the organizer of AFTM, for his unwavering commitment to the industry and the sustainability of the travel market. He also took the opportunity to announce this year’s edition of Carnival Calabar, themed ‘Season of Sweetness.’

The governor emphasized his administration’s dedication to preserving the carnival’s legacy, stating, “Carnival Calabar has matured, and it is imperative that we invest all efforts in its sustainability and inclusivity while exploring a robust Public-Private Partnership framework to foster mutually beneficial relationships.”

Governor Otu further revealed that he had instructed the reinstatement of certain events that were initially excluded from the carnival, such as the children’s carnival, Aqua show, and the vibrant and colorful Night of Kings and Queens. This decision aims to provide additional opportunities for sponsors to gain visibility.

Florence ItaGiwa, Chairperson of Carnival Calabar, who also attended AFTM, highlighted the global significance of Nigeria’s Carnival Calabar in the social calendar. She underscored the importance of the various events featured during the carnival, noting that they serve not just as entertainment but also as platforms to convey messages and educate people about crucial issues such as climate change, industrialization, coastal erosion effects, and children’s welfare, among others, in Cross River State.

Some members of the Press – Christy Anyanwu , Moriam Musa , Yemisi Suleiman & John Upah
Yemisi Sulaiman , Moriam Musa & John Upah
Yemisi Sulaiman , Moriam Musa & John Upah
Ambassador Ikechi Uko
Ambassador Ikechi Uko

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