Akwaaba Africa Travel Market, is getting better and stronger as the 13th edition of the premier travel market opened at its homestead, Eko Hotel and Suite, Lagos for three engaging days of conferencing, entertainment, exhibitions and networking.
The event was declared open by Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture who sensitized the gathering about the need to embrace Akwaaba as a National project that belonged to all stakeholders.
Day one witnessed a friendly competition or challenge tagged “jollofRiceWar,” where chefs from different African countries cooked jollof rice for participants’ delight and for Judges to taste.
Mr Ikechi Uko, the organizer, was of the view that West Africa needed to attach its tourism sector to something like what we see in East African countries who use Safari, Mountains, Gorrila etc to attract tourists. He said since jollof rice is a food well known across West African Sub-region, the organisers decided to use this as the focal issue.
Day two started with a conference on Aviation, with the theme: Africa Aviation, Accident free year 2016 what did we do right?”
Experts were of the view that the status quo must be maintained beyond 2017, citing safety as the bedrock of aviation. The Keynote Speaker, Gabriel Olowo was of the view that issue of compensation in case of flight delay must be taken into cognizance. Other salient issue that dominated the debate was that of charter agreement which operators are not keeping to.
“Safety issue should be continued with. When people come on our planes, they actually entrust their lives to us. So, we must ensure their safety,’’ said Olayinka of British Airways.
They were also of the view that death of airlines is mostly due to economic reasons, and not crash issue per se citing the case of airlines with crash records who still remained in business.
Experts also advised the Nigerian Government to stay clear of the proposed National carrier by allowing it to be private-sector driven.