The Wife of Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu has joined stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality Industry to chat way forward for development and sustainability in the sector.
The two day event organized by the International Hospitality, Tourism and Eco-sustainability Forum , IHTEF, with the theme “Emerging Markets in Nigeria: The Future of Hospitality and Tourism, held at the Villa Garden Hotel Owerri is the third in the series.
In her contribution, Mrs. Akeredolu observed that Nigeria has alot of natural endowments that if properly harnessed will make Nigeria a tourist destination.
The First Lady who is a passionate advocate of tourism development in Nigeria, cited her home town Emeabiam as having untapped tourism potentials.
She said “Our dear Imo state has a lot of potentials to be the tourist destination in Nigeria. You heard all the speakers mention so many tourist attraction areas in Nigeria. Even where I come from Emeabiam in Owerri West , we have a confluence yet to be developed, where Otamiri River joined Uramurukwa River, that is eco-tourism waiting to be harnessed. Another one is the rubber estate, the bikers can get fun from just riding round the perimeters of that thousands of hectares of the abounded rubber estate. Beside it, Otamiri River, you drop a pin in there, you will see it. Can you imagine if that place is developed? I mean when I take you there, you wouldn’t want to come back.
In his welcome address, the Executive Director of IHTEF, Chibuikem Diala said, the IHTEF 2018 was put together to promote
Hotel, Tourism, Green Economy and other related business associated with the industry in Nigeria.
Mr Diala further said that this year’s theme “Emerging Markets in Nigeria: The Future of Hospitality and Tourism” offers a unique opportunity to leverage on new tourism-new markets-green hospitality and innovative pathways that will sustainably drive hotel and tourism growth with strategic intention to drive workforce excellence, grow investments, promote fuller lives, increase sub-national GDP and maximize environmental sustainability.
Present at the event were one time Governor of the old Rivers State who is also the traditional ruler of Amanyanabo of Twon Brass Kingdom, HRM King Alfred Diete-Spiff (Seriyai II), Imo State Comissioner for Tourism, Dr Cyril Okafor and his Ondo State Counterpart Hon. Ismaila Olurimisi, Natacha Haguma, CEO, Global logistics Limited, Kigali Rwanda, Mr Adedayo Adesugba, Honourary chair, Institute of Hospitality, Uk. and Comrade Preye Ketebu-Brown, Vice President World Assembly of Youth.
Others are Captains of Industries and top government officials from across Nigeria.
Highlights of the event were the presentation of “INSPIRING ICON AWARD” (Health and Wellness Tourism) to Ondo State First Lady and presentation of the Hotel Industry Excellence Award (South East Edition) with the hotel of the year award to Osborne La-Palm Royal Resort Abakiliki, Exhibition and Cultural display.