Archive for February, 2011

NTDC Boss


Nigeria has continued to make a positive impact and statement in the area of tourism promotion and showcasing its rich human and natural potentialities at various international tourism and travel fairs and exhibitions.

And the 30th edition of the International Tourism Fair, Feria International de Turismo (FITUR), at Farie de Madrid, Spain, gave the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) an ample opportunity to demonstrate emerging next tourism destination in Africa.

The four-day event, which attracted tourism stakeholders, organisations, visitors, exhibitors and investors the world over, reinforced in tourism buyers and sellers, a new vision, mission and drive on what, how, who and where to market, sell, package and the right people to connect, engage and, above all, create a new and genuine image, different from the stereotypes of the western media.

This year’s exhibition was held in the “gateway to the world,” Madrid, Spain. The FITUR, for three decades, has been a strategic platform for the organisers to promote business tourism in Spain and provide a rallying point for like minds interested in the development and promotion of tourism in their different countries, converge to showcase and cross-fertilise ideas on the investment promotion and opportunities and how to key into it for profitability.

No doubt, year after year, the market has continued to record influx of new entrants and the old exhibitors, too, have also geared up efforts to improve on the promotional materials to attract tourists and investors not only to explore their fascinating tourists sites and destinations but also to help suggest new areas which the host countries could improve on to satisfy and sustain their patronage.

FITUR, this year, came with lots of sophistication; from the decoration of different countries and organisations’ stands inside the 10 gigantic halls with their beautiful fixtures and fittings to attract audience to each pavillion. The bait and trick to attract visitors to exhibitors’stands range from beautifully branded souvenirs, shops, drinks to funfare and music fiesta.

Exhibitors at the venue were mindful of what people wanted and how to be the most attractive. This, in the real marketing sense, made the stand to engage in competition. As the event progressed, exhibitors from different countries unfolded new, branded promotional materials.

For the visitors at the fair, there was nothing to care about. There are a lot of things to take home to show that you were at the2010 FITUR and when you talk of food, there were much more to eat either the pay-as- you-go eatery joints that those who were a bit hard up patronised or the free-for-all shops dished out by some stands, for those who felt their accreditation had paved the way for all opportunities from the venue.

The fun was endless, the competition too was challenging, putting exhibitors on their toes on how to out-shine one another or even be at the centre of attraction.

Access to the venue of the FITUR exhibition was apparently easy as the road and rail network system was standard and the choice of transportation depended on the individual. It was a matter of choice for anyone visiting the venue to go by metro route (through underground train, which is considerably cheap, costing one euro, which is equivalent to N215, or take a taxi as the case may be for between 20 Euro and 25 Euro (N4,300 and N5,375 respectively).

The security system and infrastructure at the venue were state-of-the-art, decently managed to serve thousands of visitors, tourists, investors and exhibitors who visited the FITUR centrre daily.

The exhibition was declared open on Wednesday, January 20, 2010, by His Royal Majesty, King Juan Pablo Alfonso of Spain. While speaking at the venue, he welcomed all and sundry from different parts of the world to Ferce de Madrid for the FITUR 2010. In his not too elaborate speech, he assured visitors of their safety, while enjoining them to enjoy and explore the hospitality of the city built for kings (Madrid), adding that the yearly tourism marketing platform was fashioned by the organisers to open new vista of opportunities for countries to tap into and also charging them to make good use of the 30th edition to open new doors.

In his usual routine, King Alfonso, in turn visited each pavillion of participating countries in the 10 halls that made up the exhibition town, exchanging pleasantries with the delegates and representatives.

The Nigerian stand displayed one of the biggest pavillions and the only pavillion in Hall Four that was branded with the national colours (Green, White and Green) with different promotional materials showcased the people, festivals, occupations, culture, music, destination, sites and monuments, man made and natural potentials that made Nigeria a preferred destination to explore in Africa. Also, it availed Nigeria the opportunity to host King Alfonso to a glimpse of touristic deluge in Nigeria and Africa.

For the Director-General, NTDC, Chief Olusegun Runsewe whose dedication, determination and astuteness to make tourism a reality had in different international tourism events, smartly positioned Nigeria as a country to watch out for with comprehensive promotional compeduim, which gives a vivid description of destinations, festivals, accommodation, food and places of interest in Nigeria was also intact at FITUR attending to visitors who trooped to Nigerian stand to inquire about tour itineraries in Nigeria, airlines, tour operators, hotels and places and time to visit Nigeria for major festival dates.

Chief Runsewe, who was also mindful of the promotional intensity Nigeria required at this point in time was quick to register Nigeria’s presence at every forum organised by different international bodies, countries, investment platforms to showcase Nigeria’s broad picture of tourism campaign in Nigeria and its peoeple, culture and who they represent.

For the four-day event, Runsewe was able to paint a positive image of Nigeria in the minds of number of visitors, tourists and investors who had registered their particulars with the corporation and few tour operators and travel agents on a packaged tours of Nigeria.

The tourism investment forum for Africa, INVESTOUR, also felt the presence and contribution of Nigeria as the Nigeria ambassador to Spain and Vatican, Mr. Obed Wadzani, Otunba Runsewe and a host of other prominent Nigerian’s in diaspora were in attendance to give the state of things and what they have to offer.

Earlier, Ambassador Wadzani, has noted that his mission in Spain is making frenetical effort to see that Nigerians communities in Spain are given their rightful place in the scheme of things. Also, Runsewe, who was also unananimously elected as the first President of Africa Tourism Promotion Initiative Forum (ATPIF) to build a platform for West Africa tourism promotion and development synergy said that the forum would renew Africa’s tourism strength thus using the avenue as a strategic mechanism to position West Africa.

Written by Wale Olapade
Source: http://www.tribune.com.ng/index.php/tourism/763-fitur-2010-nigeria-emerges-africas-tourism-big-brother-in-spain