The Nigeria Association of Tourism Operators (NATOP) is partnering the Akwa Ibom Government for the development of the tourism sector in the state.
The National President of NATOP, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, said this at a news conference in Uyo on Monday.
Abdul said the association was ready to partner the state government to develop and explore the rich tourism potential of the state.
She said that the association would hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the state in appreciation of high profile investment in the tourism sector.
“Governor Udom Emmanuel’s investment drive has reflected in the tourism sector. Some of the tourism investments are complementary. Ibom Airline has effects on other tourism centres in the state particularly the hospitality sector.
“We are ready to partner the state government on this sector to explore the tourism potential of the state,’’ Abdul said.
She charged Nigerians to show more interest in tourism as the sector remains a multibillion dollar spinning enterprise.
Abdul said Nigeria was capable of generating revenue from the rich tourist attractions centres and create employment without necessarily relying on the oil.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr. Orman Esin said the state had worked hard to bring to light the vision of the state governor on tourism.
According to him, the hosting of the 2021 AGM of NATOP by the state is a glaring example of the governor’s commitment to tourism.
Esin said the state has a comprehensive network of roads across the 31 local areas in order to facilitate tourist activities within the state.
“Akwa Ibom people are hospitable and as such a partnership with NATOP will not suffer hardship and the state has what it takes to become a tourist haven in Nigeria,’’ he said
In his opening remarks, the chairman of Akwa Ibom State Tourism Board, Mr. Ini Akpabio, commended the association for hosting the 2021 AGM and partnering the state to create a tourist hub.
Akpabio charged the media to partner the association to promote the tourism industry, stressing that the industry could take Nigeria to a higher investment position.