Obiano Storms Ogbaukwu Cave, Assures Community of World Class Tourist Centre

By James Eze

 

6The governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, Tuesday, stormed the historic Ogbaukwu Cave and Waterfall in Owerre-Ezukala in Orumba South Local Government Area of the state and promised to turn the site into a world class tourist destination. Continue reading

AFRICA MUST NOT BE LEFT BEHIND IN 1 BILLION TOURIST SCRAMBLE

AFRICA MUST NOT BE LEFT BEHIND IN 1 BILLION TOURIST SCRAMBLE

 IMPORTANCE OF TOURISM

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN:

  • It is important to recognise the fact that tourism is one of the world’s largest sectors and one of the world’s largest employers, therefore the importance of your gathering here cannot be over emphasised.
  • For our region africa tourism’s potential to contribute to economic development can’t be questioned. over 50 million people travelled to[u1] africa in 2012. This is a mere 5% of all international travel, but the low figures do not reflect what a huge role tourism plays in many african economies. In fact, one out of every 20 jobs in africa is in the tourist and travel industry.
  • Last year, international tourism in africa grew at a respectable 6.3% rate. This number has the potential to be much higher, but developing tourism requires a whole host of factors besides building a lovely lodge or having a wealth of beauty and wildlife on your doorstep. A successful tourism sector relies on good safety and security, health and hygiene, infrastructure, education, training and a positive image of african destinations
  • Small changes in travel behaviour can contribute to positive change throughout the world. With one billion tourists traveling the world in a single year in 2012, transforming these one billion tourists into one billion opportunities was at the heart of the online campaign launched by unwto to celebrate this historic milestone.
  • To realise the one billion opportunities that tourism offers as envisaged by the unwto, the media will play a critical role and in particular africa needs to get its share of that through having tourists to or destination. ø  africa cannot afford to be left behind as this is an important sector that offers job creation and absorbs a number of youth.
  • For us in zambia we do not want to be left out of the one billion opportunities and that’s why the government has placed strong emphasis on tourism as an important economic sector that has the potential to contribute significantly to national gdp, create much needed jobs and also act as a catalyst to rural development and poverty alleviation.
  • As you are all aware, the media is one of the most powerful tools of communication. It helps promoting the right things on the right time, gives a real exposure to the mass audience and can help to inform about the realities of life.
  • The media can be true agencies of mediation.  they have the power to mould or restructure our consciousness in socially, politically and developmental consequential manner.
  • Media has a therefore key role to play for the society. Today news channels, newspapers and social media are mouthpiece of some social issues, which helps us to estimate the realities of lives. Media has played an important role in order to focus on the social issues in almost every era.
  • Since it affect the eyes, the ears and the mind simultaneously nothing can overcome the influence of the media..

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COMPASS – Insights into Tourism Branding

Created for CNN’s TASK Group by Anita Mendiratta © all rights reserved PAGE 3

Normally a man of modesty, speaking of the V&A Waterfront’s journey causes a justified puffing of the chest in Green:

“Since the V&A Waterfront’s start in 1988, it has come a long way. Today, the V&A Waterfront is an award winning, mixed-used destination the size of 180 rugby fields. We have:

• 450 retailers,

• over 80 eateries,

• 10 hotels offering 1500 rooms,

• a marina with 34 different charter boat activities,

• an active fishing industry,

• 20 leisure tenants,

• a helipad with 3 different operators,

• an aquarium, and

• a fresh food market.

Most notably, 16 000 people work here on a daily basis, supporting the 23 million people who visit annually. And all this is wrapped within a working harbour. It is a place where people eat, live, work and play. It is a neighbourhood of Cape Town, and it runs 24/7/365.”

Pride in widespread pride of place aside, Green is acutely aware of the responsibility that the waterfront development has to the bottom line of the city, province and nation.

“Today the Waterfront makes an on-going contribution to the local and national economies through the contribution to GDP, household income, rates and taxes. It employs thousands of people who may otherwise be without jobs. Hundreds of people have benefited directly from the remarkable enterprise development projects and programmes within the Waterfront. Thousands have benefited indirectly through the premium given to the value of their properties – and the City has been able to access some of this through potentially higher ratable income.

Importantly, recognizing that the V&A Waterfront – all waterfronts – are for visitors from around the corner, around the country, and around the world, Green is emphatic about the fact that,:

“The Waterfront is a magnet for locals, domestic visitors and international tourists. And it truly is a place that showcases the best of our country, by showing South Africa at work. If visitors take a small piece of this away with them, then we are achieving our goal of helping people understand Africa. It is not only the pride of the people who work here that energises me, but seeing this pride that South Africans hold. History, industry, commerce and tourism are intertwined to make an incredibly special place.”

 

 

WATERFRONTS: TOURISM TREASURE CHESTS

DATE : MARCH 2013COMPASS – Insights into Tourism Branding

Created for CNN’s TASK Group by Anita Mendiratta © all rights reserved PAGE 2

Tourist waterfront developments –tourist traps or true to place? Exclusive or for everyone? Icons or eyesores?

From Auckland to Busan, Cape Town to Düsseldorf, Edinburgh to Frankfurt, and all other waterfront locations from F to Z, the debate continues. What value do waterfront developments really bring to a destination? There they stand on the edge of the water, attracting tourists as often a first port of call, often dominating a visitor’s dance card and perception of place (to the point where they can draw in more tourist foot flow than any other offering in the destination), generating highly desirable amounts of revenue, but greatly undesired envy (dare one say jealousy) from other tourist attractions.

Sadly, in some places, locals feel locked out – the space seems not for them, only for tourists with gold cards and gift lists of souvenirs. No thank you, not interested, especially when it all feels just so stereotypically been there, got the t-shirt’.

And what about impact on marine eco-systems, water quality, and sea views?

It is little wonder that waterfronts targeting tourists often receive such challenge. Whether it is Singapore, Sydney, San Francisco, Seattle, Santos, Seoul or anywhere else under the sun that has a waterfront development catering to tourists, the question is the same: aside from their individual gains, is it really a good thing for the destination as a whole?

This question has for decades been asked by destinations, and developers, alike.

The answer: a strong ” absolutely”, when waterfront developments are looked at as a whole.

 GETTING THE RIGHT BLEND TO GET REAL BUY-IN

One tourism waterfront that spent many of its formative years making its case is Cape Town’s iconic V&A Waterfront. Blessed with the backdrop of the majestic Table Mountain, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World, the city’s waterfront development is recognised globally for its award winning design, finely woven together mixed-use working harbour and tourism destination offering, six star green, gold star heritage rating, and #1 position as South Africa’s most popular tourism attraction.

Still, built at a time when the new South Africa was still reshaping as a recently liberated nation, coming together as a people united by a determined spirit of colour blind unity, the waterfront spent many a year being accused of being just for them – the tourists – and not welcoming to locals. As a result, concerted effort was made to ensure that the waterfront was felt to be not just a place for people across the country, but a place of the people across the country, in all ways that matter – socially, economically, emotionally, collectively. The result? Inclusive, emotive success.

As expressed by the current CEO of the V&A Waterfront, David Green,:

“A waterfront cannot be viewed in isolation. It is an extension and neighbourhood of the city, not just an attraction. It makes a significant impact not only as a driver of tourism, but also from an economic and emotional wellbeing perspective. This is an indoor outdoor destination that offers city dwellers a ‘’backyard”, in an historically significant setting. We recognise that a waterfront is about creating and fiercely retaining a space that locals love and celebrate as their own; the spaces between the buildings are actually more important than the buildings themselves.”

 

 

 

UNESCO joins UNWTO to advance Silk Road tourism development

The development of a ‘Silk Road Heritage Corridors’ tourism strategy for Central Asia and China is among the main outcomes of the 3rd UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting held at ITB Travel Trade Show (Berlin, Germany 6 March 2013).

With the support of ITB Berlin, the 3rd Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting brought together Ministers and Vice Ministers of Tourism from over 20 Silk Road countries and international experts to discuss how to join forces to further raise the profile of Silk Road tourism, while safeguarding its exceptional heritage sites and intangible cultural heritage.

The event was the ideal backdrop for the announcement of the new joint UNWTO/UNESCO ‘Silk Road Heritage Corridors’ tourism strategy project, which will commence in 2013 with the support of UNESCO Netherlands Funds-in-Trust.

Advancing collaboration on heritage protection and visa facilitation

The Meeting emphasised the importance of collaboration between Ministries of Tourism and Ministries of Culture in managing heritage effectively and sustainably and underscored the importance of engaging the local community and stakeholders in building levels of coordination and dialogue. Community involvement in this framework was highlighted as a key element in fighting poverty and supporting the UN Millennium Development Goal (MDGs).

Participants presented the latest technology in 3D laser scanning and digital modelling, demonstrating the role that this technology plays in preserving and maintaining the authenticity of heritage sites while enhancing the visitor experience.

Furthermore, the 3rd Silk Road Ministers Meeting represented a milestone in the promotion of travel facilitation as Ministers expressed their commitment to improve visa policies and border crossings. In this regard, Tajikistan announced the opening of the Kulma pass on the border with China to international visitors, while Kazakhstan stated its intention to pursue a visa-free Central Asia.

On 7 March, private sector stakeholders had the opportunity to share best practices and debate key issues at the UNWTO Silk Road Tour Operators´ Forum, another key annual meeting taking place as part of the UNWTO programme of Silk Road events supported by ITB Berlin.

TOURISM TO GET MAJOR BOOST VIA DAARSAT

DAAR Communications pay Television known as DAARSAT is set to dedicate one channel to the broadcast of tourism-related programs and is expected to hit the airwaves soon. The pay TV will also introduce dedicated channels on its platform to broadcast culture-related content as a way of promoting indigenous programs in Nigeria.

The aim is to market Nigeria as a major tourism destination with the hope of tapping in to her huge tourism potential which is expected to translate into economic gains.  The relaunch of DAARSAT will also ensure the promotion of local content in broadcasting with about 27 channels dedicated to the purpose while the entire platform can accommodate up to 250 channels. This was made known during a visit to the tourism village in Abuja by the chairman of DAAR Communications Group, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and other members of his management.

DAAR Communications is also poised to broadcast instructive and educational programs for all strata of the society as its unique selling point.

Briefing the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, his management and members of several media organizations, the Managing Director of DAARSAT, Dr. Don Pedro Obaseki said the unique selling point of DAARSAT is education maintaining that the cable outfit’s comeback was historical as it had never been replicated in the country before.

Dr. Obaseki attributed the success of DAARSAT, which is to broadcast on full high definition decoders, to the doggedness and enterprise of its proprietor, Chief Dokpesi whom he described as a fighter who had paid his dues in the industry.

In his words, “DAARSAT is bigger and better, wholly the first indigenous communications company to support and promote African cultural contents” adding that DAARSAT is the first broadcast company in Nigeria to be listed on the Nigerian Stock exchange while soliciting the partnership of NTDC in “expressing the Nigerianess of the Nigerian in all the features contained in the channels.

Don Pedro implored NTDC to make the HD decoders available and encourage hotels, Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and other related hospitality outfits to patronize DAARSAT.

Fielding questions from journalists on availability of high-profile leagues such as the English Premiership and other European events, Chief Raymond Dokpesi stressed that the essence of DAARSAT will be to improve on local content and invest in everything Nigerian saying people can look elsewhere for foreign content.

According to Chief Dokpesi, the cable outfit is the first of its kind in Africa to feature full African Cultural content in all channels stating that the purpose of the synergy with NTDC is to attract foreigners and acquaint them with the rich local content of Nigeria while bringing values and cultural essence to both satellite and digital terrestrial.

He decried a situation where we do not encourage the growth of our local industries by consistently patronizing foreign items pointing out that it portends grave danger for the productive sector and employment generation.

The broadcast giant was specific that the idea of his cable service provider was a strict commitment to the promotion of local content as a precursor to employment generation.

On his part, Otunba Runsewe declared that DAARSAT as a world brand had being unveiled eulogizing Chief Dokpesi as an innovator of our time and a broadcast guru who has made great contributions by emphasizing on educational and local  content.

He promised to fully align with the initiative in a mutually beneficial partnership while assuring the visitors that the decoders will be distributed to hotels, Travel Agencies, Tour Operators and other related hospitality setups. NTDC PRESS

Smartest Family in UK

Peter and Paula Imafidon, 9-year-old twins from Waltham Forest in northeast London , are a part of the highest-achieving clan in the history of Great Britain education. The two youngest siblings are about to make British history as the youngest students to ever enter high school. They as tounded veteran experts of academia when they became the youngest to ever pass the University of Cambridge ’s advanced mathematics exam. That’s on top of the fact they have set world records when they passed the A/AS-level math papers.

Chris Imafidon, their father, said he’s not concerned about his youngest children’s ability to adapt to secondary school despite their tender age. “We’re delighted with the progress they have made,” he said. “Because they are twins they are always able to help and support each other.”  To Peter and Paula’s parents, this is nothing new. Chris Imafidon said he and his wife have been through this before: they have other super-gifted, overachieving children.

Peter and Paula’s sister, Anne-Marie, now 20, holds the world record as the youngest girl to pass the A-level computing, when she was just 13. She is now studying at arguably the most renowned medical school in the United States , Johns Hopkins University , in Baltimore .

Another sister, Christina, 17, is the youngest student to ever get accepted and study at an undergraduate institution at any British university at the tender age of 11.

And Samantha, now age 12, had passed two rigorous high school-level mathematics and statistics exams at the age of 6, something that her twin siblings, Peter and Paula, also did.

Chris Imafidon migrated to London from Nigeria in West Africa over 30 years ago. And despite his children’s jaw-dropping, history-making academic achievements, he denies there is some “genius gene” in his family. Instead, he credits his children’s success to the Excellence in Education program for disadvantaged inner-city children.

“Every child is a genius,” he told British reporters. “Once you identify the talent of a child and put them in the environment that will nurture that talent, then the sky is the limit. Look at Tiger Woods or the Williams sisters [Venus and Serena] — they were nurtured. You can never rule anything out with them. The competition between the two of them makes them excel in anything they do.”

Nude Beach Shut Down On Weekdays In Wisconsin

The Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin announced today that the nude beach near Mazomanie would be shut down on weekdays.

The DNR said that the public nude beach would be shut down on weekdays in order to stop visitors from having sex and doing drugs in the woods.

According to the Clarion Ledger, the beach near Mazomanie, about 25 miles northwest of Madison, has become a hotspot for people in the area who want to engage in a little public nudity. The nudists, however, have also been having sex and doing drugs in the surrounding woods.

The DNR said that most of the nefarious behavior occurs during the week when there are less people around. Nate Kroeplin, the supervisor of the DNR in Dale County, said that 83 of the 92 citations handed out since 2008 occurred on weekdays.

Kroeplin said: “Obviously we’re disappointed when we have to shut any portion of our property down … But our ultimate goal is to have a safe place anybody can feel comfortable using. And with the current activity going on down there, that’s just not the case.”

The beach has become a bit of a battleground between nudists and the conservative population. A video from 2011 shows a group of Wisconsinites heckling the nudists as they walk down to the beach.

Yahoo News reports that the beach has never officially been a nude beach. It was purchased by the DNR in 1949 and thanks to a large population of nudists, as well as a liberal county, the beach became an unofficial hot spot for nudity.

But with all of the skin flooding the beach officers have also had to deal with sex and drugs. The DNR banned overnight camping during the 1990s in order to dissuade questionable activity and shut down the nude beach for week long stretches in 2012. Still, it didn’t do much to curb the nudists. Last Summer, the DNR handed out 19 citations to people having sex at the beach and another three to people using drugs.

Nigeria Assures Investors, Tourists at ITB Berlin

From Demola Ojo in Berlin

Nigeria is safe for investors and tourists to visit according to the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, on the opening day of the ITB Berlin travel trade exhibition taking place in the historic German capital of Berlin.

The 47th edition of the annual international travel trade exhibition opened yesterday with exhibitors, tourism experts and investors from 188 countries including Nigeria in attendance at the Messe Berlin International Conference Centre. Over 160, 000 square metres exhibition space was filled to capacity with different tourism destinations, products and services on display. The Nigerian stand was an imposing 60 square metre space, the largest from the country till date.

A recurring question from the scores of international visitors that were attracted to the Nigerian stand was on security. However, Runsewe insisted that insecurity was not a problem as the Nigerian government is on top of the situation.

Speaking from the Hall 21 location of the Nigerian stand he said, ‘‘the security issue is only limited to few states in the northern part of the country and the Federal Government is very serious and proactive in handling the situation. Come to Nigeria. Your investments and lives are safe.

Nigeria, he said, is blessed with abundant resources, especially in the area of tourism, and a population of over 160 million is a large market for investors to take advantage of.

Runsewe also used the occasion to invite visitors to the Nigerian Day celebration which is to hold on Saturday. The celebration is dedicated to celebrating the victory of the national football team, the Super Eagles, which became came African champion at the just concluded African Cup of Nations.

Nigeria, Trinidad… strengthening cultural bond through tourism

THE active participation of a large contingent of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) at the 2012 edition of the Abuja Carnival   was a demonstration of the fact that relations between the Caribbean country and Nigeria are growing fast. Known for their carnival tradition which spans centuries, the interest of T&T in the Nigerian carnivals points to the huge potentials   this cultural  product holds for Nigeria and her people.

Determined to consolidate on the gains of the relations which have risen in profile in the last two years, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation,  Chief Edem Duke, led a Nigerian delegation to the T&T capital, Port of Spain, to participate in the 2013 Carnival.  And participation in this sense refers not only to joining in the revelry and ambience of celebration and culture showcase,  it was also an avenue to discuss serious issues relating to the organization and growth of carnivals globally and the specifics of the ongoing collaboration between Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago in that area. Thus, the Nigerian delegation engaged officials of the Culture Division of the Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism and stakeholders in carnival business and  organization with a view to gaining deeper insights into carnivals and their socio-economic impacts around the world.

Interestingly, Nigeria is not alone in this pursuit as  Government officials  from  Kenya and Uganda were also in Trinidad and Tobago for the same purpose.  Kenya for instance, is planning her 50th Independence Anniversary and has decided to hold a big carnival as part of the celebrations with the intention of holding an annual national carnival afterwards.  The same goes for Uganda whose artiste and singer, Angela Katatumba, (also at the meeting)   was invited to participate in the carnival and even sing the national anthem of Trinidad and Tobago. Such is the importance that some African countries now attach to carnivals which, apart from the huge economic prospects they offer, are also a platform for cultural showcase and propagation of national unity.

At the meeting chaired by the Trinidadian Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr.Lincoln Douglas, issues such as content, packaging, ownership, sponsorship, technical collaboration and cooperation were dominant. It was observed that any cultural product or feature that ignites the passion of the people should determine the contents of any carnival.  For instance, calypso music has been used as the engine room of   the T&T carnival   for ages because that is what the people are passionate about. At every corner and any time during the carnival, this brand of music, which has become the identity of the Caribbean around the world, is blared on huge sound systems with   old and young Trinidadians swinging and jumping to the sounds. Carnival officials in Trinidad who have witnessed the Abuja, Calabar and Port Harcourt  Carnivals  identified cultural staples such as the Durbar and the Boat Regatta as items that can be used to drive  carnivals in Nigeria.

On the issue of ownership, participants agreed that carnivals are owned by the people and called for concerted efforts to ensure the active participation of   all categories of citizens in the process. One way of achieving this is to propagate the idea of  using carnivals as a means of preservation of cultural identities and not a mere cultural activity. This approach has been a huge success in Trinidad and Tobago as all regions of the country as well as every neighborhood in the regions  participate actively in the carnival with  activities peculiar to these regions. For example, the Nigerian delegation witnessed spectacular display of Traditional Mas ( Masquerades) on Cipero Street in San Fernando and on Waterloo Main Road in Carapichaima as well as a vivacious display of energetic dances and colours at the Paramin Blue Devil Festival on the hilly neighborhood of Paramin.  At every turn during the carnival, the participation of the people is total as the whole country is connected to that moment of national unity in an atmosphere of flamboyant cultural expression.

Sponsorship is a challenge to sustainability of carnivals all over the world but the meeting observed   while this may be slow in coming, sponsors will eventually buy into the process as the carnival grows and mass participation improves.  According to the Chairman of National Carnival Development Foundation T&T, the carnival did not attract private sponsorship immediately but merchants started to fund it in the 19th century when they noticed that sales went up during the event.

The meeting also agreed that Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago have been benefiting   from   technical cooperation and collaborations between the two countries.  The exchange of carnival experts from both countries has continued as   carnival officials from Cross Rivers State were on ground to serve as adjudicators on the invitation of the National Carnival Commission of Trinidad and Tobago. This is an indication that the synergy initiated by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Edem Duke, is yielding encouraging results not only for the Federal Government but also for states where carnival is gaining  popularity and contributing to the economy.

The Minister did not stop at expressing his happiness with the gains of the collaboration and   the level of talks   on the issue of carnivals in the last one year, he  also praised the progress being made with the establishment of the Nigeria- Trinidad  Joint Commission which as an offshoot of the cultural relations between the two countries. The purpose of the Joint Commission is to widen relations and explore other areas of partnership and collaboration   for the benefit of citizens of both countries. The inaugural roundtable of the Joint Commission was held in Port of Spain in 2012 while the second edition is scheduled to hold in Abuja about the second quarter of 2013. The Nigerian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago indicated that preparations were in progress towards the meeting.

In addition to the participation of citizens in the carnival process, the patronage of international tourists is also important.   And armed with  flyers and other  promotional materials of Abuja Carnival,  Artistic Director of Abuja Carnival, Professor Rasaki  Ojo-Bakare seized the  opportunity of every event during the visit to distribute the materials inviting the world to the 2013 edition.   The Calabar and Port Harcourt Carnivals were also  promoted.

In all, it was a fruitful outing for Nigeria with useful policy guidelines coming from officials of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation and its parastatals including the Director of Culture, Mr. George Uffot , Deputy Director (External ) Mrs. Dayo Keshi and  Senior Special Assistant( Technical and Special Duties)  to the Minister, Mrs, Chika Balogun.  Also on the Nigerian delegation were Special Assistant to Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Ferdinand   Agu,  DG CBAAC,  Professor Tunde Babawale,  DG NCAC, Mr. M.M Maidugu, DG NCMM, Yusuf Abdalah, DG NGA, Abdulahi Muku, Executive Secretary NICO, Dr. Barclays Ayakoroma  DG NIHOTOUR, Dr. Munzali Dantata and Artistic Director, National Troupe of Nigeria, Martin Adaji.  Others are DG Rivers State Carnival, Sam Dede and the state Commissioner for Culture and Tourism as well as carnival officials from Cross River State.