This time last week, the 9th edition of the Akwaaba Africa Travel Market was in full flow with the three-day event attracting exhibitors from across Africa and beyond. Exhibitors from Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Namibia, Ethiopia, South Africa, Jordan and more converged on the convention centre of the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island to market their products and services to a Nigerian audience regarded as one of the most adventurous worldwide.
The guest speaker at the travel exhibition was Dr. Auliana Poon. She heads the Tourism Intelligence International, a leading consultancy that provides innovative solutions for numerous countries worldwide.
The Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation, Mrs Sally Mbanefo was also notably present along with tourism ministers and ambassadors from the Gambia, Zambia, Rwanda and South Africa.
A host of international hospitality outlets were present to court the Nigerian customer in particular and the West African sub-region in general.
The Ibis hotel group was one of the prominent newcomers to the show, joining other participants like the African Sun, Protea Hotels , Movenpick and many more.
This year’s edition of Akwaaba was especially notable because of the participation of the Africa Business Travel association (ABTA).
ABTA helped in conducting business travel training sessions during the travel fair. Led by Monique Swart, ABTA discussed issues such as the future of travel management companies (TMCs) and the key challenges faced by companies travelling in Africa.
Several country days were celebrated at Akwaaba, complete with indigenous cuisines. Nigeria, Gambia, Kenya and Rwanda took turns in entertaining visitors. The famed Rwanda dancers were especially enthralling.
Akwaaba ended on a partying note on Tuesday with the South Africans, who won the best country stand hosting guests to a cocktail at the venue of the exhibition.
Southern Sun Ikoyi hotel made sure it continued into the evening by hosting select dignitaries to another cocktail at their hotel.