PORT HARCOURT BANTABA 2017: Opening Nigeria’s South-South to the World
The maiden edition of the Port Harcourt Bantaba took place in the Garden City of Port Harcourt, Nigeria on the 16th and 17th of March 2017. The event was organized by ATQNews.com organizers of the annual AKWAABA Africa Travel Market, the only travel and tourism Expo in West Africa.
The two-day event featured a host of important players in the travel and tourism, as well as hospitality industry from different parts of the country and beyond. Among them were the Minister of Finance for the Sovereign State of Accompomg, Jamaica Thomas McPherson Jr and the CEO of Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, Karigoka Kaseke.
The conference kicked off with an opening address by the Chairman of the event, Chief Mike Amachree JP, a septuagenarian travel and tourism guru acknowledged as the Grandfather of Nigerian Tourism who has spent about half a century in the tourism industry. Several speakers in turn took the stage to address the audience, before an interactive session on Tour Packaging was kicked off by the MD of Jemi Alade Tours.
An award ceremony took place to close proceedings for the day at well past 4pm. Some of the winners include Eko Hotels, HBC Resort Jos, Nike Lake Resort Enugu, De Edge Hotels Port Harcourt, Air Peace, and of course the Grandfather of Nigerian Tourism Chief Mike Amachree JP. Several exhibitors were at the event to showcase their various products and services. The second day of the event was a training session on Digital Marketing conducted by Damian Cook, CEO of e-Tourism Frontiers.
Bantaba, a meeting event for travel professionals was initiated in 2011 as the Abuja Bantaba. However, the event was suspended after two years due to the security challenges in Abuja due to the Boko Haram insurgency. The word Bantaba is of Mandinka origin meaning meeting, according to Ikechi Uko the host of the event. With the success of the event in Port Harcourt, there are expectations that the event will rotate around the state of the federation from time to time.
Afro Tourism was there in Port Harcourt to cover the event and provide full media support.