Mbanefo Woos WTM To Host In Nigeria •As Nigeria’s Stand Voted Best In Cape Town
THE light of Nigeria tourism shone brilliantly at the first World Travel Market (WTM) Africa held at Cape Town not just because the stand designed by the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, was voted to be the most attractive, captivating and well patronised, but also that the she was able to convince the promoter of WTM the necessity of hosting a show in Nigeria.
Mbanefo said: “The design of the stand is my concept. As an artist, I do not think it is good news to learn that NTDC commissioned or contracted out our stand’s design. So, I put pen on paper and sketched it out. And to God be the glory, those who mounted it did a good job of it.
“I had a fruitful discussion with Carol Weaving, Managing Director, WTM Africa, Reed Exhibition and we are working on the possibility of hosting WTM in Nigeria. I also mid-wived deep commitment of interest in promotion of Nigeria domestic tourism from Mr Derek Houston, who is interested in building Convention Centre.”
Mrs Mbanefo further said: “I discussed with the Expedia group, a company set up by Bill Gate in 1996. The intercontinental company has agreed to collaborate with NTDC in two major development schemes via tourism education, awareness and information dissemination with international buyers and sellers.”
After having successfully closed a deal with Expedia, Mrs Mbanefo said she also had a fruitful discussion with Javago.com, a money generating online search which will have a stay on NTDC’s website cultivating money and revenue to the corporation.”
The NTDC boss dialogued with Euro Sports for tourism partnership, to promote sport tourism and sport carnival in Nigeria.
Sales Director of Euro Sports, Mr Gideon Reeves, who described the Mrs Mbanefo as ebullient and passionate promoter of Nigerian tourism, expressed the readiness of Euro Sports to partner with the NTDC to propel promotion of sports tourism and sport carnival in Nigeria.
Reeves said: “Nigeria, no doubt, stands tall at the fore front of football not only in Africa but also in the world, hence we are willing to partner with the NTDC, which implements tourism policy in the country to practically promote sports tourism and carnival.”
Euro Sports Sales Manager in Africa, Prevoni Naicker, who corroborated the submission of Reeves, added the partnership between NTDC and Euro Sports will make Nigeria a hub of sport tourism and carnival sooner.
National Council for Arts and Culture which was also present at the maiden edition of WTM Africa, expressed eagerness to collaborate with the NTDC.
The council described Nigeria’s outing at the event as phenomenal, while expressing assurance of unprecedented development in the Nigerian tourism and improvement in the country’s economy with the domestic tourism promotion initiative of Mrs Mbanefo.
The NTDC boss reiterated her earlier policy on travel market attendance and participation.
“Like I say and which has become a policy for us at the NTDC, we will not just participate in any travel fair for participation sake. We will not attend trade fair where Nigeria will not benefit or which we believe will not add value to what we are doing here at NTDC.”
Mr Remi Olayemi, Chief Executive Officer, Leisure King Travel and Tours, who participated at the market, “I am impressed and proud of Nigeria’s stand and conduct of all who exhibited at our stand. I am particularly happy that it was declared the best here.
“The Nigeria’s stand stood like a colossus as the designer who I learnt is the Director-General, NTDC herself, really demonstrated that she is a master in stand packaging and presentation.
“The stand speaks volumes about Nigeria and portrays to all that we are indeed a nation ready for tourism growth.”
He further revealed: “I learnt from an impeccable source that this beautiful and spectacular stand was constructed at a fraction of what it used to be.”
Mr Olayemi pointed out that “Nigeria tourism sector is reaping the benefit of appointing a round peg in a round hole as Mrs Mbanefo has been able to ensure that her private sector experience and networking adequately rubbed off on this outing.
“The turnout of exhibitors at the Nigeria’s stand here is a reflection of the drive of Mrs Mbanefo who has successfully served as the bridge between the public and private sector.
“I am happy to see the permanent secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Eko Hotels; Arik Air; Monopoly; Treavenl Travels and Tours, African Destination, Cross River State and many who have made our stand a centre of activities and a must visit.”
He described the composure of the NTDC Director-General, as a dutiful woman whose passion is geared towards Nigerian tourism and concentrated in selling domestic s
ites to buyers.
“Her mode of dressing which accentuated and showcased our national colours of green-white-green as typified by her cap and dress made her the cynosure of all eyes and an attraction herself,” the Leisure King Travel and Tours boss said.
Mr. Olayemi revealed: “Going by performance rating, Nigeria’s outing this time around is good and commendable. The outing is not only well-coordinated, but also very colourful, of teamwork of both public and private sectors participation. In fact, I am happy and proud to see the NTDC making inroads into the forays of international tourism market and caucus beyond propaganda and noise making.”