Exhibitors at the 2019 AKWAABA African Travel and Tourism Market have expressed excitement over bountiful sales and successful business transactions made during the fair which ended late on Tuesday.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the fair had exposed them to other countries’ tourism and cultural potential, commending the organisers for a well organised fair which attracted influencers and stakeholders in Africa tourism industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fair which began on Sept. 22 and ended Sept. 24 had over 50 exhibitors from Ghana, Nigeria, Dubai, Kenya, Gambia and other countries.
The exhibitors said that the fair was such an impactful one which needed to successfully grow Africa’s tourism and aviation industries to compete favourably with other developed countries.
Mr Consaga Khisa, Managing Director, Destination Connect from Kenya, who had been attending the fair for five years said the fair was only getting better.
According to him, a lot of business deals had been sealed during the fair which, he hoped to sustain participation in to grow his business.
“I love to say well done to the organisers of this fair, it has been an excellent one with encouraging responses from travel and tourism enthusiasts across Africa,” he said.
Also, Mr Kamal Baxani, Business Development Manager, Rayna Destination Management, who has been participating in the fair since inception 15 years ago, said he observed that the fair had helped in making the industry gain more tour operators and practitioners in other fields of tourism
He said these practitioners were not only creative, but also proactive and innovative which was as a result of the wealth of knowledge gained from each of the seminar sessions during the fair.
“I discovered that this fair is doing a lot than we all noticed; tour operators are now creative, innovative and proactive.
“Kudos to the organisers for a good initiative as this fair, it has fostered unity among the countries attending likewise developing their businesses,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Herbert Kongwieh, Group Sales and Marketing Manager, Alisa Hotels, Ghana, said the fair had been an impressive one as he had been able to build fresh customer contacts within Nigerian travel agents.
He advised the organisers to create more food courts in subsequent editions where people could easily access food as only one food vendor was allowed to service the mamoth crowd at the fair.
I am happy the fair is a huge success, I have gathered many business contacts from most of the travel agents around,” he said.
Mr Momoh Afegbua, the Chief Commercial Officer of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Lagos , said that most of the tourists at the fair were able to familiarise themselves with the Nigerian arts and crafts.
He said though the sales of most of these crafts were not encouraging but the tourists had good admiration of the materials like the beaded necklace, earrings, Adire fabrics, carvings and all.
“We have a lot of people coming to appreciate Nigerian crafts and arts which we exhibited, they are sourvenirs, home decorations and fabrics.
“For us we have created some sense of knowledge of the Nigeria crafts and arts in the tourists,” he said.