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A’Ibom To Host Stakeholders’ Roundtable On Tourism, Focal Sectors Soon

...As Gov Eno Receives State Contingent From China, Plaque As Tourism Governor Of The Year

Governor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State plans to organise a round table discussion for stakeholders in the state’s tourism and other significant sectors of the ARISE Agenda.

The Governor made this known when he received in his office the four-member state contingent from the State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, who recently returned from China upon completion of a two-week tourism capacity-building programme for English-speaking African countries held in Beijing.

The Governor equally received plaques of honour as the Tourism Governor of the Year, which the state won as the Most Active Tourism State in Nigeria at the Travellers Award held recently in Lagos.

He noted that the planned stakeholders’ workshop will be an opportunity to x-ray the key components of the various focal sectors within the ARISE Agenda and extract the salient quick-win projects and programmes from each sector that the government will execute within the next two years for the benefit of the people.

Governor Eno reiterated the importance of positively marketing the state as a destination of choice and thus harped on the need for effective training and retraining of tourism promoters, tour guides, taxi and bus drivers, as well as front desk officers in hospitality facilities across the state.

Related: A’Ibom Govt Set To Commence ARISE Shelter Initiative

The State Chief Executive charged beneficiaries of the two-week training to transfer the knowledge gained to a wider spectrum of staff of the Culture and Tourism Ministry as well as other stakeholders in the industry through a train-the-trainer programme, which would boost the impact of their training.

He appreciated the Chinese government for the opportunity offered to indigenes of the state to be part of the training programme.

On the various awards garnered by the state at the 2024 Travellers Awards, the governor lauded the event organisers and the various tourism stakeholders for finding the state, himself and other Akwa Ibom indigenes worthy of numerous awards.

Akwa Ibom stakeholders round table

According to the governor, the various awards are pointers to his government’s commitment to sustaining the status of Akwa Ibom as a destination of choice through a deliberate and focused investment in the culture and tourism sectors.

He commended the Culture and Tourism Commissioner, Sir Charles Udoh and his team for effectively interpreting the vision of the government for the sector and urged him and his team to redouble their efforts to sustain or even surpass the tempo.

Earlier, while presenting the trainees, the Culture and Tourism Commissioner told the Governor that the training, which was conducted at the Central Academy of Culture and Tourism Administration, was facilitated by the Chinese government to further the frontier of cultural exchange and international collaboration between China and Nigeria, adding that while other African countries sent representatives from various regions within their country, Nigeria was represented by Akwa Ibom indigenes only.

Read Also: A’Ibom Govt Set To Partner With China For Entrepreneurship Development, Agriculture, Tourism, Others

He reported that the country’s representatives were adjudged to be one of the most outstanding teams at the training session.

Sir Charles, on behalf of the participants, appreciated the Governor for approving the state’s participation in the training programme, adding that within the next few days, four medical doctors would be leaving Akwa Ibom en route to China to commence yet another two-week training in the Asian country.

Also speaking, Idorenyin James, a Principal Tourism Officer in the Ministry, who was the lead presenter for the state at the training, said the programme allowed participants to get an overview of the tourism experience in China and compare notes with what is obtainable in Akwa Ibom and Nigeria in general, to draw from such experience and offer insights on how to improve and effectively grow the sector back home.

She gave kudos to her team members, including Ofonmbuk Odiong, Ebenezer Eno, and Grace Bassey, for acquitting themselves creditably throughout the training, thus bringing honour to the state and Nigeria.

Highlights of the presentation ceremonies were the formal presentation of the Travellers Award plaques to the Governor by the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, while the Chinese trainees also presented their certificates of participation and other memorabilia to the Governor.

Present at the brief ceremony were the Secretary to the State Government, Prince Enobong Uwah; the Commissioner for Internal Security and Waterways, General Koko Essien (Retd); and Akparawa John Offiong, the Director of Culture in the Culture and Tourism Ministry, who covers the duties of the Permanent Secretary.

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