Bantaba records impressive debut with Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Dubai, South Africa and representation from many states in Nigeria
By Renn Offor
Going by the responses and comments by travel experts who have converged on Port Harcourt for the two-day speed dating event, Port Harcourt Bantaba 2017, are all pointing to the fact that the staging of the event in Port Harcourt is a strategic move which would drive both destination marketing in the South of Nigeria as well as stimulate speedy development.
All these would be sped up if government partners the private sector initiatives of the organizers of the event.
The event recorded impressive debut with Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Dubai, South Africa and representation from many states in Nigeria.
This is the very first time, to best knowledge of this writer, when international and local travel professionals from at least five different countries would converge on Port Harcourt to network, brainstorm, acquire skills and find ways to drive the tourism growth of the State and the region.
As early as 8 am delegates, guests and visitors have started filling the hall at the De Edge Hotel Resort, Port Harcourt for the debut edition of Port Harcourt Bantaba, an event put together by the same organizers of Akwaaba African Travel Market.
“The event is already agog even before it gets to the main actions of the day”, exclaimed excited Omololu Olumuyiwa, Publisher of Travelscope Magazine who was early at the event venue. ‘All is set for the opening ceremony’, he observed.
“Today is Port Harcourt Bantaba. It is my first event in South-South and the South East of Nigeria’, excited Mr. Ikechi Uko exclaimed! “And it is already a success. “Jamaica, Zimbabwe, Dubai, South Africa and Many states of Nigeria are in the House.”
He went on to thank Mr. Steve Isokariri, Managing Director of Dial Travels Port Harcourt “for hosting us last Night. Let the Fun Begin. God is here big time,” Ikechi enthused.
The Travellers Night Gala Dinner kicks off by 7.00pm and would see the unveiling of the various Man of the Year awards, Tourism Most Active States and Top 100 Hotels in Nigeria.
This year’s event enjoyed partnership from Tripberry.com, HBC Resort Jos, Trig Point Hotels Awka, Dubai Tourism, Nike Lake Resort, De Edge Hotel Resort, Golden Tulip Port Harcourt, Dial Travels, FlyBoku.com, among several others.
Recall that Port Harcourt Bantaba is returning after a 2-year absence due to security challenges around Abuja which always coincided with the hosting of the event each year on Abuja, the original destination of the event.
This year’s return edition focuses on empowering travel business through an e-tourism Master Class on Digital Marketing training aimed to them survive the current economic challenges which are affecting many businesses in the travel and tourism sector.
The training will be anchored by Damian Cook, Managing Director of E-tourism Frontiers, Kenya. Day two focuses strictly on the training.