Accra Weizo 2018: Creating seamless Intra-West Africa Travel

The global reports on the goings-on in Africa are most often negative and it seems to me that there are deliberate steps being taken by certain people to create negative and deleterious narratives about Africa as well as aggressively propagate such narratives about the continent to the rest of the world. It may seem innocuous, but I find it funny and mischievous the fact that most people in the developed world see Africa as just one big country rather than a continent.

This vista or perspective, in my opinion, goes a long way to expressly underscore the level of ignorance and how misinformed the developed world is about the true state of affairs in Africa.

The question is, who should and can better tell the true story of Africa better than Africans themselves? Therefore, rather than being unnecessarily over-protective and conscious of territorial boundaries in our dealings within the continent, Africans should rise and take up the responsibility of championing the creation and dissemination of the true African story to the rest of the world.  In the past 10 years that I have had the opportunity of traversing the length and breadth of Africa in line of duty for Inside Watch Africa (IWA), I have seen undeniable similarities in the culture and character of the average of African not minding the different geographical expressions (countries) that we find ourselves.

 

Maybe we should take advantage of the fact that our colonial masters who scrambled for our lands and petitioned the continent in the first place see Africa as a single country to package and sell the continent to them as a destination.

It is instructive to say at this junction that the African story today is not a woeful tale after all; a good example of some of the steps we are taking in the right direction is Accra Weizo which is essentially a tourism and travel fair, convened annually by Mr. Ikechi Uko and his team to sell and promote Intra-Africa travel and tourism in the West Africa sub-region. Mr. Uko who is a veteran travel journalist, team leader of ‘Team Africa’ and founder of Akwaaba in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as Bantaba in Banjul, Gambia both of which are also tourism and travel fairs like Accra Weizo has shown his resolve to unequivocally and relentlessly champion the cause of ensuring that more Africans travel within Africa.

Just as I was opportune to participate in the event in 2017, I was privileged to attend Accra Weizo 2018 that took place between June 22 and June 23, 2018 as one of the hosted  media. In taking you through the gleeful and very educative experience I had at Accra Weizo 2018, let me start by saying Weizo, which simply  means welcome in “Ewe’’ language of Ghana and Togo.

As a travel and tourism writer, I should ordinarily long for and enjoy the experience of travelling to Ghana from Nigeria by road, but going by the unhospitable and unwelcoming dispositions and attitude of most of the security agents on the Nigeria-Ghana corridor coupled with the deplorable condition of the international highway on the corridor, particularly at the Nigerian side, my trip to Ghana by road on Tuesday June 19, 2018 and back to Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday June 24 for Weizo was anything but fun. It seems to me that the governments of Nigeria, Republic of Benin, Togo and Ghana do not really understand or see the socio-economic gains and benefits that will naturally accrue to their countries if and when now people travel on this corridor by road.

My suspicion is that there is an erroneous belief that most people who travel through the corridor by road are either smugglers or petty traders. This is very unfortunate as every traveller is treated as somebody who has done something wrong to be travelling on the corridor by road. As long as this abysmal situation continues, there is no way that the level of travellers’ traffic that could substantially and positively affect the economies and social lives of the three countries on the corridor can be generated.

On arrival in Ghana in the evening of Tuesday the 19th of June 2018, we drove straight to Chances Hotel in Ho, the capital of Volta Region, one of the ten regions of Ghana, into the warm embrace of our host, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). After we had refreshed and had dinner, GTA treated us to an exhilarating Ghanaian traditional dance that I participated in and relished every moment.

As early as 7.30am on Wednesday June 20, 2018, we checked out of Chances Hotel. Guided by our very informed and eloquent tour guide, Mr. Yao Dzide, who all through the familiarization tour loaded us with lots of information about the people, culture and history of Ghana, we first paid a visit to Tafi Atome Monkey sanctuary, where were able to interact with the monkeys in their natural habitat. It was intriguing when we were told by the curator at the sanctuary that the sanctuary was primarily a community-based project with no government support and the major sources of funding for it was from funds generated from entry fees paid by visitors to the sanctuary and contributions made by donor agencies. However, I was more enthralled when the curator informed us of how residents of the community are encouraged to accommodate tourists and visitors to give them the opportunity to have “authentic village and community experience’’ whenever they decided to spend the night at the sanctuary.

After the eco-tourism experience we had at Tafi Atome, we moved to the Eastern Region where we first visited Akosombo Dam, the hydroelectric dam also known as the Volta Dam. We were told that the construction of the dam which started in 1961 led to the flooding of parts of Volta River Basin and subsequently led to the creation of Lake Volta which is arguably the largest man-made lake in the world. We then moved to the Royal Senchi Resort to join the travel agents and tour operators who were lodged at the magnificent resort. We had a very sumptuous lunch after which we got a dose of the luxurious treatments one gets when one stays in the palatial Royal Senchi.

We went on a boat cruise on Lake Volta which runs behind the resort and after the cruise, we were treated to some indigenous very tasty cocktails after which we had dinner and danced late into the night before bed time.

The ladies among us were the first to depart for Accra as early 7.00am on Thursday the 21st of June, 2018 because they had to attend the Women in Tourism Conference that was took place in the country’s capital that day. Although, we got into Accra a little late, we were still able to experience night life in Ghana, courtesy the CEO of Kaya Tours, Mr. Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey Santana, popularly known as Abeiku Santana.

There were a lot of VIPs who attended Accra Weizo 2018, some of who were the Dean of the Diplomatic Corp in Ghana as well as Zimbabwe Ambassador to Ghana,  Her Excellency, Mrs. Pavelyn Musaka, South Africa’s Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency, Mrs. Lulu Xingwana and Nana Mbroba Dabo,  the Queen Mother of Anomabo Traditional Area.

Some tourism Industry leaders in West Africa such as the CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwesi Agyman, Mr. Steve Isokarairi, chairman of the board of trustee of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr. Nkereuwen Onug, chairman of the board of trustee of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Mr. Kwesi Eyison and President of NATOP, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul.

The fair was declared opened by Ghana’s Minister of Aviation, Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah, ably represented by Mrs. Evelyn Ama Lartey on Friday 22nd of June 2018, at Ada Ekesi Hall at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel, Accra, with the presentation of a paper entitled, “Harnessing the Opportunities in Aviation Value Chain in West Africa.’’ The first discussion of the day focused on aviation in West Africa and this included “Interlining in West Africa, a Possibility or a Mirage?”, “Integrating West African Airport System”, “Standardizing Aviation Laws in West Africa for Regional Growth” and “Why West African Airlines Fail”.

The panelists comprising the Managing Director of Nigeria’s oldest Airline Aero owners of the major MRO in the region, Capt. Ado Sanusi, the Vice-Chairman of SAHCOL, a leading Nigerian-owned Aviation Handling and Logistics Company, Chike Ogeah, the CEO of Ghana-based Smile Aviation and former CEO of Nigeria-based Associated Airlines, Alex Nwuba and Richard Kyereh from Africa World Airlines, the leading Airline in Ghana, were simply brilliant with their contributions.

At the end of the sessions, it was obvious that the aviation industry in West Africa was going to receive a boost. In addition to the seminars and deliberations, Nana and the Ghana queens, a traditional dancing group from Ghana and the Calabar Carnival dancers were also on hand to entertain the guests. Some awards were also given to tourism organizations and individuals in recognition of their contributions to the development of the travel and tourism industry in Africa. The deliberations of the day was not just on aviation before we went for lunch, there was another round of discussion that was moderated by Marigold Vivian Mingle, who is currently the Managing Consultant of Ridge Royal Resort located in the Central Region of Ghana.

The panelists was made up of top hotel managers including Didier Bayeye, market manager, Africa & Indian Ocean, Pastor Emmanuel Geadda-Asando, Vice-President, Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, Sajid Khan, General Manager of Golden Tulip Hotel, Ghana, discussed a topic, “The Adapting of International Hotel Standards to the African Environment”, which stirred up some level of emotional comments in trying to establish what true international standard really is.

June 23rd 2018, the second and closing day of Accra Weizo 2018 was as exciting and enlightening as the first day. It was essentially the ‘Ekaabo Day’, hosted by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), and they ensured that everyone present had more than enough Ghanaian delicacies and drinks as they showcase their new tourism campaign which is: “see Ghana’, ‘wear Ghana’ and ‘eat Ghana’. The discussion of day which centered on “How effective travel bloggers, writers and influencers in promoting travel destinations in West Africa’’, had the following as its panelists — Gabe Onah, Chairman Carnival Calabar Commission, Mr. Lehlohonolo Pitso, Regional Manager, West Africa for South African Tourism, ably represented by Mr. Mohammed Kwajaffa, the Trade Relations Manager, West Africa for South African Tourism, Ms. Stella Fubara, Director Africa, Dubai Tourism, Ghana’s Tourism promoter media Mogul and CEO of Kaya Tours, Mr. Abeiku Santana, the Nigerian CNN Journalist of the Award winner and leading travel writer, Obinna Emelike of Business Day. The discussion was moderated by Mrs. Ebele Enemchukwu   former Mrs. Tourism United Nations.

Indaba 2018 – The Story

Tourism in Africa is being geared towards new heights as West African delegates alongside others from 80 different countries were recorded present at Africa Travel Indaba 2018.

Tourism in Africa is being geared towards new heights as delegates from 80 different countries were recorded present at Africa Travel Indaba 2018. The annual event which was once again held in Durban; Kwazulu Natal Province of South Africa from the 7th to the 10th of May experienced a significant rise in participation from last year’s event with 23 African countries in attendance this year. The overall registrations saw an increase by 4% from last year’s figures reaching the 7000 mark. Total registered buyers increased by 14% from last year bring it to a total of 1747 registered buyers. With 200 first time exhibitors, there were over 1100 registered exhibitors, leading to a 57% increase from last year.

Indaba 2018 was position as a call to action to focus on the success of the continent as a whole, urging its people to go out and tell Africa’s story to the world. The event was rebranded from simply “Indaba” to “Africa’s Travel Indaba” highlighting a passion for Africa. This was announced by South Africa’s newly reinstated National Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom.

The Minister in his message at the official Welcome Networking Function said, “Tourism growth, and sharing the benefits of tourism, contribute to replacing poverty and despair with prosperity and hope. Africa’s Travel Indaba is the ideal springboard for further growth” he further spoke about Travel and Tourism being the fastest growing sector in the world “Tourism already contributes about 8% to Africa’s Gross Domestic Product and employs 6.5% of the workforce. Imagine the impact it will make on growth, jobs and livelihoods if, or rather when we double or quadruple that! We can exponentially increase the value that tourism brings by collaborating to make tourism work for everyone.”

Africa’s Travel Indaba gave qualified buyers who are really interested in selling Africa the opportunity to access the biggest variety of products on the continent, from the hidden gems in South Africa to the luxury experiences across Africa as a continent. It is not only about showcasing destinations, but the value-rich interactions that can lead to partnerships and trade agreements. These are the hallmarks that contribute to growth across the sector, rather than the success and growth of individual businesses.

To further strengthen existing partnership and collaboration within the continent, South African Tourism’s West African arm hosted 26 delegates from Nigeria and Ghana at the Africa’s Travel Indaba. Among the West African tourism delegations were Hajia Barkisu, President of the Tour Operators Association in Nigeria, Mr Kwesi Eyison ,The President of the Tour Operators Union in Ghana, Alhaji Rabo Salih, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria ,The President of The Travel Agents of Nigeria , Mr Bankole Bernard, The Chief Editor and Publisher of Africa’s leading Travel and Tourism Magazine ATQ, and Founder of West Africa’s biggest tourism expo, Akwaaba Nigeria, Weizor Accra, Mr Ikechi Ucko, Mrs Nancy Sam the President of Women in Tourism Ghana , Mr Abeiku Aggrey Santana , CEO of Kaya Tours Ghana , Ameyaw Debrah, Francis Doku were among the 26 West African Delegation drawn from Ghana and Nigeria. The West African trade and media delegates who arrived South Africa days earlier, were treated to an incredible, activity filled exploration of South Africa. The were treated to some of the finest luxury South Africa has to offer at the Oubaai Gold resort The delegates enjoyed a variety of experiences including, quad biking, power boating on the Kysna lagoon, and picnics at Cape St.Francis. They explored Tsitsikamma Nature reserve and the very brave went bungee jumping. experienced

Mr Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South Africa Tourism, praised the Africa delegates for cooperating to promote and integrate the continent as one destination through tourism.

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Post Event Press Release – Bellafricana ACE Awards 2018

The second edition of the African Creative Exhibition and Awards (ACE Awards) powered by Bellafricana held on Saturday, the 28th of April at DVenue, Water Corporation Drive, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Lagos, Nigeria.

It was an awesome one day event which kicked off with an Exhibition display of 70 Creative brands in the Arts & Craft, Fashion, Home & Lifestyle, Health & Beauty and Food Produce and Snacks sectors.

Thanks to the support from Boulos Enterprises & Suzuki, a winner went home with a brand new Suzuki Hayate Motorcycle.

The Conference Key note remark was made by Mrs Ini Abimbola who gave a remarkable speech on “Creativity and Innovation in Nation Building” with 10 Experts; Mr Tobi Asehinde, Ms Sade Bembatoum-Young, Tricia Ikonwonba, Ms Geraldine Oku, Mr Lanre Adisa, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, Mrs Olanrewaju Oniyitan, Mr Adedunmade Onibokun, Mr Babatunde Faleke and Mrs Teju Abisoye.

You can almost still feel the exhilaration in the air resonating from the crowd on the day to witness this laudable event.

The peak of the event was a white carpet awards dinner which was opened by Honourable Commissioner of Commerce Ogun State, Otunba Bimbola Ashiru, represented by His SA Ms Sola Arobieke. There was Live music, poetry, comedy and much more. In attendance were 300 beautiful and distinguished guests, from art creators, art collectors, Executives, Delegates, Captains of Industry and stake holders.

The second edition was a bigger success with over 4000 overall attendees, 70 exhibitors from all over Nigeria showcase their creative and innovative Quality Made-in-Nigeria works to the amazement of the audience.

Several awards were given out at the gala event. Mimiremi Textile won “Best Indigenous Textile Designer”, Inner Beautee won “Best Beauty Brand”, 313 Eko won “Best Fashion Brand”, Zivanora won “Best Accessories Brand”, Ethnik by Tunde Owolabi won “Start-up of the Year”, Cyrus 45 won “Best Eco-friendly Product”, Creative Safari won “Best Innovative Product of the Year”, Morin O “Best Pioneer Craftswoman of the Year”, Tigernuts Republic won “Best Food Produce Innovation”, Daniella Art Studio won “Best Creative Kid Entrepreneur”, Dream Catchers won “Best Creative Social Enterprise of the Year”, Maison Loulabelle won “Best Creative Kids Brand”, Kachi Irondi won “Best Arts and Crafts Person”, Ile-Ila won “Best Home & Lifestyle Brand”, Roots in Style (Ethiopia) won “Best African Brand”.

(See their videos at event.bellafricana.com/acewinner).

With this second edition, Bellafricana ACE Awards continues being the most prestigious gathering of Enterprising Creative Afrocentric Brands in Nigeria (Africa). This leaves us looking forward to the next edition of ACE Awards 2019.

About Bellafricana

The online platform (www.bellafricana.com) was launched to showcase, promote and celebrate creative local Creatives of Afrocentric brands in Nigeria (Africa). Starting with Nigeria her home-land, the goal is to take it one African Country at a time.

Bellafricana is an initiative with a focus on Made-in-Nigeria Non-oil products development where customers and suppliers engage and transact to bridge the buyer-seller gap and create a wider outreach for Nigerian (African) products locally & globally.

She created a platform to enable creative MSMEs thrive, whilst doing all it takes to bring the quality products to the forefront of the market.

 

Here are some pictures from the event

 

Marriott International Reveals Spectacular Seasonal Experiences Across Its Brands In The Middle East And Africa

Enticing offers available across participating hotels, restaurants, lounges & spas; 30% off for loyalty members and 20% off for non-members

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, April 24, 2018 – Marriott International has today unveiled an array of exciting offers for the upcoming hot months so that guests across the Middle East and Africa can enjoy an unforgettable summer. With a mega 30% off available for Marriott International’s loyalty members and 20% off for non-members, offers available across participating hotels, restaurants, lounges and spas from a choice of over 200 hotels are not to be missed.

Whether guests are seeking extraordinary desert, resort or city experiences such as reliving the Bedouin way of life at the only resort in a Desert Conservation Reserve, Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Desert Resort & Spa, Dubai; to intimate views of the Pyramids at Marriott Mena House, Cairo; hopping onto the ski slopes in the midst of the summer heat when staying at the Sheraton Mall of the Emirates Hotel, Dubai; or simply lapping up the sun on the luxurious white sand beach at The St. Regis Mauritius Resort – Marriott international has an option suitable for all.

“Time is so valuable for busy people, and through our seasonal offers we are delighted to be able to provide guests with an exceptional opportunity to utilize their time to create memorable experiences at many of our amazing hotels,” said Neal Jones, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International.

The summer offers announcement comes hot on the heels of the company’s new unified loyalty program across Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) which will launch in August 2018. Members will earn more points faster than under the prior programs – on average 20% more points for every dollar spent.

“This year, we’re recognizing our loyalty members with even better rewards as ongoing appreciation for their continued support – we aim to ensure that our loyal members always have an extraordinary experience beyond the norm and lifelong memories to boot,” he concluded.

Guests can book offers immediately for stays made between May 1, 2018 until September 30, 2018. For more information on participating hotels, experiences and specific deals, please visit: www.wandermore.me

Non-loyalty members are encouraged to join Marriott International’s loyalty program to be able to enjoy a wide range of exclusive benefits and offers available at the company’s properties. To sign up for free, visit www.SPG.com, www.Marriott.com and www.RitzCarlton.com.

BellAfricana’s ACE Awards and Exhibition 2018 – Pictures

Here are  some pictures. Feel free to browse through.

ACE AWARDS 2018: What to Expect at the African Creative Exhibition and Awards

Creative MSMEs have invaded Nigeria and we certainly are not complaining.

In 2016, it became apparent that Nigeria was an import driven nation and that was how the “buy Naija to the grow Naira” came to be.

However, various sects of the economy are realising that for Nigeria to diversify and become an export driven nation, the beam light falls on MSMEs.

A fresh year is on the calendar and it is almost time for the annual African Creative Exhibition and Awards (termed ACE Awards) hosted by Bellafricana. It brings to Lagos the best creative minds in the fields of Art and Craft, Fashion, Manufacturing, Beauty, Food Produce and so much more.

The Awards is an initiative of Bellafricana, a platform with a focus on Afrocentric Made-in-Nigeria (Africa) Non-oil products development where customers and suppliers engage and transact to bridge the buyer-seller gap and create a wider outreach for Nigerian (African) products locally & globally.

Micro, small and medium-size businesses nationwide produce a great deal of outstanding products, yet these creative business owners aren’t encouraged to innovate and create more.

Bukky Asehinde, Managing Director at Bellafricana says “Everyone likes a pat on the back when they have done something good. Our mission for the ACE Awards is to give these creative businesses a platform to receive the recognition they have long deserved”

ACE AWARDS 2018 is themed Creativity and Innovation in Nation Building” and is scheduled to hold on Saturday, April 28, 2018 by 9:00am at D-Venue, Water Corporation Drive, Off Ligali Ayorinde, Oniru, Lagos, Nigeria.

The event is looking to attract over 6,000 attendees, 70 exhibitors, 15 Awardees and 8 Speakers.

It is endorsed by the Lagos State Government, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC), Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nigeria-Britain Association and will offer participants a unique opportunity to showcase their talents and to have their work judged by consumers and experts.

This Annual African Creative Exhibition and Awards (ACE Awards) aims to laud the creative works of Nigerians (Africans) and is certainly one of the strongest tools in awakening creative, innovative and entrepreneurship drive in young people in Nigeria and indeed Africa.

 

If you are interested in learning more about this event, contact Bukky or Gbemi on 08086363970, 08184457403, email info@bellafricana.com, community@bellafricana.com and visit  event.bellafricana.com for more information.

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Unlocks Beaujolais Wine with an exclusive Celebration

A French Experience in Port Harcourt


Nigeria, PH- November 18, 2017
–Le Meridien Ogeyi Place recently launched a new French wine “Beaujolais”, the launch celebration took place at the poolside of the hotel. According to the General Manager of the Hotel –Fabian Martinez – “as part of our brand initiative, Beaujolais offers the opportunity to unveil our Le Meridien brand Summer Soiree culture. This program brings to our international guests the feel of French Beaujolais tradition, which is a truly home away from home experience in Nigeria”.

“In addition, our Hotel Executive Sous Chef, Innocent Anaemeje brings a very pleasant experience and opportunity to present French traditional delicacies with assorted French cold cuts” to further inspire the dining experience of our patrons”.

“We have curated our campaign in a way that delivers to our guests yet another way to unlock their destination through French traditional celebration and a modern perspective on this quintessential theme night campaign. Le Meridien cuisine will enable us offer unique and memorable dining experiences,” remarked the General Manager.

 

About Le Méridien
With more than 100 Hotels & Resorts worldwide and the strongest, most globally diverse portfolio in its history, the Paris-born Le Méridien brand connects the curious and creative-minded traveler to unexpected and engaging experiences within their destination. With its brand promise of “Destination Unlocked”, Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points through global partnerships with creative minds. Plans call for dynamic portfolio expansion within the next five years in some of the world’s most exciting destinations. For more information, please visit LeMéridien.com or follow us on social media – Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

 

About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of] more than 6,100 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 122 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

 

For more information on our hotel Please visit www.lemeridienogeyiplace.com and for more updates check us on www.facebook.com/lemeridienogeyi/

Sun International Awards Trade Partners in Lagos

Sun International, one of Africa’s largest hospitality, leisure and gaming groups operating about 19 luxury properties including hotels and casinos in Africa and Latin America has awarded its trade partners in Lagos, Nigeria.

Onboard a luxurious boat, cruising along the Lagos shores, exquisite buffet, world class beverage and onboard DJ, Sun International presented awards of recognition to deserving Nigerian partners for their continuous support of ensuring Nigerian travellers relish the wholesome experience of Sun International properties in South Africa.

In the category of Key partners, South African Airways and South African Tourism won the awards while Avantgarde Tours, Diamond and Pearls Travels, 1860 Travels, Tourbrokers International and Aviator Travels won the Top Achievers Award.

Other winners of the Sun International awards include Fidol Trips and Admiral Travels as New Supporters of the Sun International properties with AFRIMA, the promoters of the All Africa Music Awards recognised for Continued Partnership.

Didier Bayeye, Market Manager, West Africa and Indian Oceans, Sun International, while presenting the awards to the Nigerian trade partners mentioned the significance of the win-win partnership between Sun International and the Nigerian trade.

“Nigeria is an important market to Sun International and we are delighted to be working with very passionate people who have contributed immensely in growing our brand, and ensuring Nigerian travellers loyalty to the Sun International properties. From Table Bay in Cape Town, The Maslow in Johannesburg and The Boardwalk in Port Elizabeth and the multi award winner resort; Sun City, it has been an appreciable story of Nigerians visiting and wanting to visit more. We owe all these commendable stories to the hard work and dedication of all of you present here.”

“In the coming years, we look forward to a more rewarding partnership with the Nigerian trade with the full assurances of Sun International commitment and support,” Didier added.

Efetobo Awhana, CEO Avantgarde Tours while accepting the Top Achievers award declared Table Bay, Sun International property in Cape Town as his favourite hotel in the world. “I am most delighted to receive this award. I constantly recommend Sun International properties to my clients for the amazing experiences that awaits guests. The Table Bay in Cape Town is no doubt my most favourable hotel in the world!”

Another prominent awardee, Wonuola Lamidi, Co-Founder of Diamond and Pearls Travels praised the efforts of Sun International for recognising the contributions of the Nigeria Trade. She said, “we sell Sun International properties because we are selling a total experience which is beyond just accommodation. There are loads of value add-ons for guests that’s beyond imaginations.”

The Sun International awards brought together a host of the top travel agencies in Nigeria to unwind aboard the Prest cruise ship.

AmuwoGames – The Biggest Community Sports Festival in Amuwo Odofin Ends in Grand Style

The maiden edition of the AmuwoGames tagged AmuwOOOlimpics2017 is done and dusted with the best teams crowned for the year.

After 16 interesting games over a period of one month, we saw various athletes stand on top of the podium to claim the different AmuwoGames titles.

The host team Mile 2 Lions came from behind to win the the overall champions title, with 9 Gold medals, 6 silver medals and 8 Bronze medals, despite their exit from the football competition right from the first day of the games, while the Festac Sharks who beat them at the opening ended up as Champions of the football category after overcoming another strong Mile 2 team – Mile 2 Hawks in the football finals yesterday.

See the final medals table and also details of the winners below:

 

The closing ceremony was a colourful one that ran late into the evening with dignitaries and representatives from the Lagos State Sports COmmission and the Amuwo Odofin Local Government in attendance. Celebrities in attendance also included Lafup the comedian, Sheun Natural of KMR, Run Jozzy and so on.

In his closing remarks, the Chief Organizer of the AmuwoGames and Founder of BizzyBody NG – Mr. Oluwaseun Ayeni described the AmuwoGames as a trail blazing and historic event, being the first of its kind in Nigeria as a whole, and encouraged people all over Nigeria to take a cue and replicate this kind of grass-root community sports initiative through out their localities.

For us, we will be happy to consult with Local governments across Nigeria to replicate these sport festival. Our aim is to replcate this nobel initiative across Nigeria and see the aims of the vision come to life in these places – Communal unity, Talent discovery, sportsmanship and youth development. The AmuwoGames will be held annually, and more versions included in the road-map will be executed as time goes on – He said.

AmuwoGames enjoyed diversity in the participation, as athletes included all genders, many tribes from Nigeria, young and old with age range from 7 to 45 years, and people from different works of life.

Lagos Endorses The Luxury Lifestyle Summit

Steve Ayorinde, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy has endorsed The Luxury Life Style Summit.

He made this endorsement on Thursday night as the special guest of honour at the closing cocktail of the two-day summit held at The Balmoral Convention Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

After the event, he would later take his endorsement further through a Facebook post he made on his wall on Friday 8, September when he wrote:

“Yesterday I had the privilege of being the Special Guest at the closing cocktail of the maiden edition of The Luxury Lifestyle Summit, spearheaded by Funke Osae-Brown with remarkable partnership from Tope Ogbe-Awe. The duo deserve commendation for drawing attention to a goldmine that can blossom the more – the luxury industry and associated luxury brands. The summit was timely in exploring how digital technology can draw the luxury experience closer…and how Lagos, a luxurious city brand itself, is the prime destination for the ultimate luxury experience. There was so much to discover and appreciate at the Federal Palace Hotel (Balmoral Hall) where it held. This summit deserves an encore and the support to grow into a full-fledge fair!”

He explained that the resilience of the organisers of the summit shows the unique resilience nature of the city.

“Lagos is a luxurious brand. Lagos is the most 29th expensive city in the world according to a ranking. It is speaking to the purchasing power in the city is high. It is a city that can focus on the brands that being confused on today at The Luxury Lifestyle Summit by Funke Osae-Brown and Tope Ogbeni-Awe, the two partners who put the event together. It offers good opportunities for the kind of platform we have today. Lagos is a luxurious brand. Funke and Tope are making my job easier with initiatives like this. The luxurious brand Lagos is about driving visitors to our city.”