NIGERIAN NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ARTS & CULTURE FLYING HIGHER

12th edition of International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo,Abuja Nigeria, 2019.

 

The 12th edition of International Arts and Crafts (INAC) Expo, the second best of the editions opened on Wednesday 20th November to elapse on Sunday 24th November with a closing dinner ceremony at the FCT exhibition pavilion with different countries showcasing their arts, crafts and cultural heritage.

 

In consonance with the immediate previous edition, the venue is colorfully decorated with assorted foreign national flags and logos, while there are several skill acquisition programs and humanitarian initiatives put in place by the council for free coaching on micro businesses to the public as lovers of arts and culture troop in and out of the centre for sightseeing and learning opportunities with smiling faces.

The man with the socio-cultural cum tourism development magic wand Otunba Segun Runsewe with his motivated team is really using Culture as a cornerstone in contributing to building of a solid nation where the citizens are already seeing its cultural diversity as a source of strength.

In actual sense, it can now be trustfully said that the National Council for Arts and Culture during this past and present few years are dedicated to the development and promotion of the best of the living Arts and Cultures of Nigeria.

The agency is really using culture and arts as important resources for National integration and Unity. The very active and meaningful ongoing INAC event is serving as catalyst for sustainable growth and development of not just Nigeria as a country, but for African as a continent.

Tourism in Lagos Nigeria

Tourism as the new oil in Lagos, Nigeria?

By Elke Dens

Chairperson, Europe Travel Commission

 

Nigeria is the largest oil and gas producer in Africa. It contributes for 9% to the gdp, and represents almost 90% of the export. Fully aware of the success, the government of Nigeria is trying to diversify their economy and be less dependent of the one and only oil industry. They are trying to bring money into the country via non-oil industries. Tourism could be a very good answer.

With agriculture representing already 27% of the GDP of Nigeria it takes a small step to broaden these activities and open up to visitors. With a clear objective to strengthen agro-tourism in Lagos, my dear friend Solomon is doing the right thing. He organizes international conferences with the aim to get more support for development of agritourism in his country Nigeria, and his city Lagos.

As far as the country is concerned there are so many opportunities. There are farm settlements in Kaduna where people stay for the purpose of farming and trading. They bring their own goods like garri, plantain, banana, maize, wheat, palm oil to sell to travelers on transit to sell it to travelers on transit. Actually a lot of trading in Nigeria is done on the road. Instead of bringing the goods to the travelers we could invite the travelers to go to the place where this is made.

Of course most international visitors arrive in the capital Abuja or Lagos, the biggest city in the whole of Africa. Instead of building new cities out of nothing like they plan to do in Rwanda in 2020 with the green city project (aka Wakanda), it makes perfect sense to further develop the current cities and embrace and bridge to the countryside, when you think in tourism terms. I’ve seen great developments in Lagos, but also segregated new development area’s with new roads and buildings, like Lekki, compared to the neighborhood were I stayed, Festac, where the road development was still poor.

Therefore it was no surprise that I have got the most enthusiasm for my preventative by the representative, the older-man for infrastructure, because tourism is a great help in the development of basis infrastructure, a basic need for a city that carries 30 M people.

The other speakers at the conference were glad to mention the number of international hotelbrands that opened in Lagos, like Marriott and Sheraton, which for them is a necessity. I am not saying it is not a necessity, but I do hope that with the rise of tourism growth there is also a rise in accommodation that will benefit the people from Nigeria.

Like with the oil, although extracted in Nigeria, the most profit (money) will be fueled to international companies, like Shell. You do not want the same for a non-oil industry to just extract all your (human) resources and fuel the profit(money) to international companies?

Also there agritourism could be of help, but of course also additional type of accommodation, like familyhotes, and why not AirBnB (if they are willing to start from the same level playing field), because it will help people to improve their situation by sharing their house.

And I think there is much more potential in Lagos if you look at the enormous amount of creative industries. If you listen to where they took the music, from very original Nigerian instruments to the heartbeat of Afropop.This year the International Jazz Festival was organized in Lagos with the theme: Music And Creative Arts are used As Tools In Addressing Illegal and Irregular Migration Amongst Nigerian’s Youths”.

And as every harbor city it has had major influences from around the globe, not in the least everything that came from the Congo River. And let’s not forget the darker history as the place of embarquement for African slaves which makes it a very interesting place to visit.

Basically, tourism can definitely contribute to the development and the empowerment of rural communities, generating revenue, reducing poverty, helping people to become more proud.

My only hope is that the government of Nigeria is not solely led by  the economic growth and prosperity on the short term, and really looks at the long term net benefit for the people living in Nigeria.

That is the only way that tourism can really contribute to a place, by making the community flourish. That’s what I learned from my mentor Anna Pollock and I would like to pass it on.

Needless to say that it can be strange for some tourists travelling to a country that is known for having the largest oil production in Africa to be faced with a power shut down a few hours a day. On the other side, once you know it’s part of the live of the Nigerians to sit by candles, you put it in a positive perspective. You are not consuming the place. You are living it like a local. And tourist that cannot appreciate it, are maybe not the guests Nigeria is ready for? Tourism has never been established to enrich others. So, please don’t make tourism the new oil of Nigeria. And make sure all the gain goes to you! Your hospitals deserve all electricity they need to save the lifes of the Nigerian people. That’s a meaningful step towards making people of Nigeria flourish.

2019 Tourism World International Conference

 

4th Tourism World International Conference  holds October 16th 2019

 

 

 

De Tourism World International is holding its yearly Commercial/Agro Tourism Conference on Wednesday October 16th, 2019 in Lagos at Golden Tulip Festac Hotel & Conference Centre. As customary the anticipated participants are made up of industry professionals, senior government officials, Graduate students, investors/entrepreneurs and international brand representatives.

The theme 'Infrastructure and Human capital development for global sustainable hospitality and tourism growth' will likewise attract prospective students in the sector.

Attendees will be offered the current edition of De Tourism World International Magazine. As side attraction, this year's edition will feature a unique socioeconomic development peagantry "of no nude attachment" called Miss Enterprise.

 

 

 

By Uwakwe Solomon.

 

Executive Director: Tourism World Int'l

 

 

80,000 square metre agri-tourism village proposed off Marsaskala

An agri-tourism project is being proposed on land at the Munxar area of Marsaskala, that will also provide boat trips to coastline cruises, a beach club service and ancillary pool “to serve to an alternative to the beaches when needed located next to the agro-tourism accommodation.”

Billed as a place for “a fulfilling holiday in the Mediterranean environment while on an agricultural farm”, the project will include guest rooms, a fully equipped restaurant, an “agro-food facility” to be used for lecturing and hands-on experiences, a fully equipped conference centre for multi-purpose events, a farm retail outlet with display area, activity rooms, greenhouses, an animal farm, and bird-watching facility. There will also be a fitness centre, beauty saloon, and a wine bar.

The site covers an area of 80,000 square metres: the outer part to the seashore is scheduled as a Level 2 Area of Scientific Importance while the inner part is Level 3 Area of Scientific Importance.

The entire land, currently used for fodder, will continue to be used for agricultural purpose but other crops instead of fodder would be cultivated. Two floors underneath the agro-tourism lodging facility will be excavated “instead of building scattered buildings... much more efficient and sustainable.”

The proponent is Rennie Scicluna, a key contractor in various projects such as state schools, the Corradino Corrective Facility, the Bugibba water park, and the President’s kitchen garden. Scicluna also constructed the Malta Falconry Centre in Siggiewi. Scicluna is also a registered farmer.

“The South-End Agro-Tourism project is aimed to give the opportunity to the niche market of tourism to explore and enjoy Maltese agriculture by exhibiting it on a daily basis and make it touristic friendly and available. This can only be achieved by giving a hands-on experience to the end users, have them directly on the field to feel the soil under their feet and the crops in their hands.  It is this way that people appreciate what they eat, by knowing where these come from and experiencing it first-hand.”

According to Scicluna’s project description statement, the fields he owns are already being used for crop farming activates along with hunting and trapping uses. The coastal area is also already being frequently sought for swimming and summer boating purposes.

“Insofar as an environmental characteristic of the agricultural land is concerned, the site is a typical Maltese agricultural land, containing three small plots. The soil depth is less than two feet in its average, containing mainly silty-sandy soil. The plots are terraced on three levels with rubble walls. Having a lack of water supply at the site makes it only viable to be cultivated by winter crops such as fodder crops,” the PDS states.

Currently the site has no access to the main water network, and has three underground bell-shaped water wells, holding 20 cubic metres each, which are filled with rainwater runoff. An application to extend the foul water network to the areas where it is already functioning, the St Thomas Bay boathouses, is pending.

European commission proposes suspension of Schengen visa wavers for US and Canadian visitors

(malta today)

The European Commission on April 12th 2016 adopted a political Communication on the state of play and way forward as regards the situation of non-reciprocity with certain third countries in the area of visa policy. As the US requires visas from citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania, the Commission is obliged to pursue a reciprocal regime on US citizens entering Europe. As of the 12th of April, it has duly asked the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament to consider suspending the Schengen visa waivers for visitors from the US, as well as Canada.

This has occurred almost automatically. The Commission has to regard the rights of EU citizens as equal, and the selection of some member states for visa requirements is regarded as anathema. So 24 months ago it issued a formal notice to the US State department asking for a reconsideration of their position with regards to the five member states, and that notice period has now expired, so they had to forward the issue onto the Council and Parliament.

 

 

This matter comes at a moment when European cohesion – and its borderless travel zone – is under some stress. Austria has just introduced a “border management plan” at the Brenner pass, and spot checks are occurring at or near frontiers throughout Europe.

(ttw)

Crystal Lagoons to build North Africa’s largest crystal lagoon

Crystal Lagoons, the patented technology developer of giant crystalline lagoons, has started 2016 on a high note with news that it has landed a duo of prestigious Egypt projects worth almost US$2 billion, including a contract to develop North Africa’s largest ever water-based leisure attraction.

Crystal Lagoons has been contracted for the six-phase Bo Islands project being developed by Maxim Real Estate, part of the multi-faceted Maxim Holdings group of companies.

Located on the Alexandria-Marsa Matrouh north coast road, the upscale tourism and residential community will cover an area in excess of 10 million square metres and is being developed at a total investment cost of around US$1.8 billion. (TTW)

Tourism World International holds National Conference and Gala Dinner

De Tourism World International is holding a National Tourism Conference and Gala Dinner on Friday 15th July, 2016 in Lagos at 4 points by Sheraton Hotel, Victoria Islan.  The expected participants are made up of industry professionals, senior government officials, Graduate students, investors/entrepreneurs and international brand representatives. The Organization's Maiden Tourism Magazine will be released during the conference which is slated to commence by 10am with semina and worshop session that will close by 3pm to pave way for the evening session that will feature Symposium and Gala Dinner that will take the event to 9pm.

By Uwakwe Solomon.

Executive Director: Tourism World Int'l

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts Accelerates Growth in Asia Pacific With Eye on Sheraton 2020 Transformation Plan

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, today announced accelerated growth plans for Asia Pacific, continuing its sharp focus on Sheraton 2020, a comprehensive 10-point plan designed to put Sheraton Hotels & Resorts firmly back into the global spotlight.  Following the most recent designation of Sheraton Grand Macao, Cotai Central in January, the brand is continuing its rapid expansion of Sheraton Grand by welcoming three properties to the premier tier: Sheraton Grand Shanghai Pudong Hotel & Residences, Sheraton Grand Guangzhou Huadu Resort and Sheraton Grand Jakarta Gandaria City Hotel.  Sheraton also revealed plans to open more than 20 properties in the region by mid-2017, supporting the brand’s Sheraton 2020 goal of adding 150 new hotels by 2020.  (TTW)

African Hospitality Summit, Lagos, Nigeria

The 3rd African Hospitality Summit was held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victorian Island from the 28th to 29th January, 2016. The event which was organised by Noppen a leading international conference organizer based in Belgium through this medium brought together mostly different Nigerian hospitality and tourism agencies like NTDC, NIHOTOUR and FTAN, with reputable exhibiting companies in attendance.

Noppen, a leading international conference organiser - See more at: http://www.financialnigeria.com/africa-hotel-expansion-summit-2016-to-take-place-in-lagos-news-277.html#sthash.NjNSXmq3.dpuf
The third edition of Africa Hotel Expansion Summit will hold in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 28-29, 2016. Noppen, a leading international conference organiser across Africa, Europe and Asia, held the first and second editions of the summit in Ghana and Senegal - See more at: http://www.financialnigeria.com/africa-hotel-expansion-summit-2016-to-take-place-in-lagos-news-277.html#sthash.NjNSXmq3.dpuf
The third edition of Africa Hotel Expansion Summit will hold in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 28-29, 2016. Noppen, a leading international conference organiser across Africa, Europe and Asia, held the first and second editions of the summit in Ghana and Senegal.

The 3rd Africa Hotel Expansion Summit will bring together local and international hotel chains, hotel developers, architects and construction companies as well as hospitality institutions, government officials and investors to discuss new developments and hotel deals in Africa. - See more at: http://www.financialnigeria.com/africa-hotel-expansion-summit-2016-to-take-place-in-lagos-news-277.html#sthash.NjNSXmq3.dpuf
The third edition of Africa Hotel Expansion Summit will hold in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 28-29, 2016. Noppen, a leading international conference organiser across Africa, Europe and Asia, held the first and second editions of the summit in Ghana and Senegal.

The 3rd Africa Hotel Expansion Summit will bring together local and international hotel chains, hotel developers, architects and construction companies as well as hospitality institutions, government officials and investors to discuss new developments and hotel deals in Africa. - See more at: http://www.financialnigeria.com/africa-hotel-expansion-summit-2016-to-take-place-in-lagos-news-277.html#sthash.NjNSXmq3.dpuf

A drunk passenger on an Air India flight from India to Birmingham was slapped with a hefty 1,000 pound penalty for urinating in the aisle. The incident came as a shock to the crew and sparked angry protests from other passengers on board the flight.

39 year old Jinu Abraham was travelling with his 10-year-old son, was later handcuffed and restrained with seat belts and arrested when the flight landed in Birmingham on and later fined £300 by the Birmingham Crown Court.

(TTW)

Solar Impulse plane takes off on historic round-the-world flight

 

Under intense and watchful eyes, the Solar Impulse team in Abu Dhabi along with the Mission Control Center (MCC) in Monaco, witnessed Solar Impulse take-off to reach Muscat (Oman), before crossing the Arabian Sea to Ahmedabad (India). André Borschberg flew Si2 at 7:12 (GMT +4) on Monday, performing the first stage of the Round-The- World Flight using zero fuel. Piccard will take the reins in Oman and continue onward to Ahmedabad (India). Co-pilots Piccard and Borschberg will take turns flying the single-seater experimental solar aircraft which is able to fly with perpetual endurance.

 

It has taken twelve years for Bertrand Piccard (initiator and chairman) and André Borschberg (founder and CEO), to be able to finally attempt to make their dream a reality – demonstrating the importance of renewable energy conceived through a pioneering spirit and innovation. Capable of flying over oceans for several days and nights in a row, Solar Impulse will travel 35,000 kilometers around the world in 25 days over the course of roughly 5 months. Si2 will pass over the Arabian Sea, India, Myanmar, China and the Pacific Ocean. After crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the final legs include a stop-over in Southern Europe or North Africa before completing the Round-The-World flight at its final destination in Abu Dhabi, Solar Impulse’s official host city. During the 12 scheduled stops, the Solar Impulse team and its partners will organize public events for governments, schools and universities.

 

 Solar Impulse is an ambitious scientific project, but for those passionate about exploration, this visionary journey is also a strong message for clean technologies. Supported by Prince Albert of Monaco, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Richard Branson and Al Gore, the #FutureIsClean initiative has been launched on www.solarimpulse.com to recruit the severely needed support for the adoption of clean technologies worldwide. “We are very ambitious in our goal, but modest given the magnitude of the challenge. This is an attempt, and only time will tell if we can overcome the numerous weather, technical, human and administrative issues”, said Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg. On the tarmac ahead of the take-off, His Excellency Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, wished pilots Piccard and Borschberg a safe and successful journey.

 

 “The historic day has finally arrived. After months of intense preparation and collaboration with Masdar, Solar Impulse 2 is ready to embark on its attempt to circumnavigate the world using only the sun’s energy, demonstrating the power of clean technology. This journey is a moment of national pride for the United Arab Emirates, as Abu Dhabi helped the mission team prepare for success. Together, we inspired thousands of students and professionals across the country, and I’m confident that such community engagement initiatives will be replicated across the globe, capturing the hearts and imaginations of the world and reaching our collective goal of a cleaner future, “said H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.

 

 At approximately 10:00 am local time (GMT +4), Solar Impulse 2 will enter Omanian aerial space in the region of Al Ain at an altitude of approximately, 3,600 meters (12,000 ft.). Solar Impulse 2 will continue its ascension in the direction of Muscat reaching an altitude of approximately 5,800 meters (19,000 ft.). Once the aircraft reaches northern Muscat, Andre´ Borschberg will position the plane above the sea and loiter on a waiting pattern until traffic and weather conditions are suitable for landing. Solar Impulse 2’s estimated arrival at Muscat International Airport is 7:00 pm local time (GMT +4). Solar Impulse is an airborne laboratory, genuinely made from technological solutions developed by a multidisciplinary team of 80 specialists and more than a hundred partners and consultants. Si2 is the largest aircraft ever built with such a low weight, equivalent to that of a small car. With a wing covered by more than 17,000 solar cells greater than a Boeing 747, the plane can fly up to an altitude of 8,500 meters at speeds ranging from 50 to 100 km/h.

 

The two pioneers will be required to demonstrate extraordinary endurance under extreme conditions, living in a 3.8m3 non-pressurized cockpit, unheated, with external temperatures ranging from -40 to +40 degrees Celsius. Crossing the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in 5 days and 5 nights will certainly represent the highlights of this adventure.

 

 About the first leg Abu Dhabi – Ahmedabad

 

The first flight leg will stop in Oman to change pilots and position itself to cross the first body of water, the Arabian Sea, on its Round-The-World Solar Flight. Si2 is flying to Oman, where host partner Birla and partners Solvay, and ABB will welcome Solar Impulse 2 for completing its first landing of the Round-The-World flight leg. It is the first time that a solar airplane capable of flying day and night without fuel, will attempt to fly around the world.

 

Institute to compile data of Nigerian hotels for classification, grading

 

The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism has completed arrangement for the compilation of data of Nigerian hotels for the purposes of classification and grading.

 

Director-General of the institute, Mrs Chika Balogun, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the classification was designed to reposition the country’s hospitality industry. “Some of the hotels in the country do not have the facilities to be rated as five, four or three stars. “Most of the hotels classified as five, four or three stars do not have the required facilities “Therefore, there is the need to compile the list of Nigerian hotels for thorough classification and grading,” Balogun said. She, however, added that the grading and classification would be in collaboration with Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and the National Orientation Agency.

 

Others, she said, are Hotel Licence Authority, hospitality experts and other relevance government agencies. “These are necessary, because we want to ensure that Nigeria hotels are well graded and classified according to international standards. “Foreigners and some hospitality experts are complaining that some of the Nigerian hotels classified as five stars do not have the facilities required to be classified as such. “We will involve hospitality experts for the classification and grading of the Nigerian hotels, “ she said. The DG said after the classification and grading, the institute would send the list of the graded and classified hotels to appropriate authority for preparation of catalogue. Balogun expressed optimism that such grading and classification would boost the image of the country’s hospitality industry. (daily independent)

 

Saudi Arabia and Tourism

 

Saudi Arabia plans to build on tourism projects worth US$ 45.3 billion this year. This US$11.6 billion worth of tourism projects currently underway in the country will underscore the strength of the industry as the country looks to build on domestic and religious tourism projects totaling an estimated US$ 45.3 billion at this year’s Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2015. This is an example for other oil exporting countries of the world to follow. “If we look just at the Kingdom’s list of top 10 tourism and hospitality projects, almost US$11.6 billion is being invested into supporting the country’s economic diversification plans, and our partners on the ground are eager to discuss how this year’s ATM can showcase sector growth to more than 33,000 expected participants,” says Nadege Noblet, Exhibition Manager of Arabian Travel Market, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.

 

According to new MEED intelligence data, Saudi Arabia is capitalizing on both new business and leisure tourism opportunities with 55 planned or under-development projects including four museums/libraries, 39 hotels and resorts, one mall, seven sports stadia/leisure complexes, two theme parks and two convention centers. The country’s top 10 projects currently under development are valued at just under US$11.6 billion; cover a wide range of tourism-related activities from US$4400 million investment by Saudi Aramco into 11 stadiums to the next three phases of the Jabal Omar mega development in Makkah, which, upon completion in 2017, will have 40 hotel towers.
Other high profile projects include the US$533 million MKEC Visitor complex, the US$450 million Hilton Riyadh Hotel & Resort and US$500 million Millennium Jeddah. (TTW Asia)

 

IATA Releases 2014 Safety Performance

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released 2014 commercial aviation safety performance. The 2014 global jet accident rate (measured in hull losses per 1 million flights) was 0.23, which was the lowest rate in history and the equivalent of one accident for every 4.4 million flights. This was an improvement over 2013 when the global hull loss rate stood at 0.41 (an average of one accident every 2.4 million flights) and also an improvement over the five-year rate (2009-2013) of 0.58 hull loss accidents per million flights jet.
There were 12 fatal accidents involving all aircraft types in 2014 with 641 fatalities, compared with an average of 19 fatal accidents and 517 fatalities per year in the five-year period (2009-2013).

 


The 2014 jet hull loss rate for members of IATA was 0.12 (one accident for every 8.3 million flights), which outperformed the global average by 48% and which showed significant improvement over the five-year rate of 0.33.“Any accident is one too many and safety is always aviation’s top priority. While aviation safety was in the headlines in 2014, the data show that flying continues to improve its safety performance,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

 

Dubai Mall Attracts 80m Visitors During 2014.

Last year, Dubai Mall welcomed almost 80 million visitors, making a seven per cent increase compared to 2013. Of the 80 million visitors welcomed by Dubai Mall, 60 per cent were residents of the wider UAE and GCC, while the remaining 40 per cent came from across the glode to enjoy what the retail outlet has to offer. The mall has taken the crown of the world's most visited lifestyle destination New York's Times Square and Central Park, Niagara Falls, Washington DC's Union Station, Orlando-based Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Paris Eiffel Tower (The First Group).

 

NTDC Partners Israel to grow Nigeria's Tourism Industry

Nigeria's tourism industry is poised to receive a huge boost as the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation(NTDC) and the government of Israel have agreed to work on the development and promotion of the industry. This followed the courtesy call of the Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Uriel Palti, on the Director-General of NTDC, Chief Dr. (Mrs) Sally Mbanefo.

Palti during the courtesy call expressed his readiness to facilitate collaboration between Israel and NTDC to develop tourism in Nigeria. The Ambassador of Israeli to Nigeria said: "It's my pleasure to be Israel Ambassador to Nigeria. I enjoy the friendship of Mr. President, Gooduck Ebele Jonathan, and fall in love with Nigeria. I won't be shy to say this. I am totally at the disposal of NTDC to help develop tourism in Nigeria. "I must say that Nigeria has the highest pilgrims to Israel, hence we cannot but to be at her disposal to render assistance and develop her rich tourism potentials.

(Nigeria Tribune)

ASIAN HOSPITALITY INVESTMENT

Asian investment in European hotels will reach US$22.7 billion in 2015, fueled by the liberalization of domestic controls governing outbound investment, according to the latest research from CBRE. Asian hotel real estate acquisition in Europe surged by 90% year-over-year in 2014 and by 20% globally. With limited investable stock available in domestic markets, CBRE forecasts that hotel acquisitions by Asian investors could rise by as much as 58% in Europe this year. 

(T&T World)

BULGARIA AND TOURISM.

With Bulgaria receiving little attention from tourists particularly the Chinese as reports reveal in 2014 only 16,000 tourists came to Bulgaria. The Bulgarian Tourism Minister Nikolina Angelkova said that Bulgaria will enter into a joint tourism venture with two of its neighbours Turkey and Greece to boost tourism.

(T&T World)

VIRGIN AMERICA LAUNCHES ONLINE PAYMENTS WITH VISA.

Virgin America, the California-based carrier reinventing flying, announced it is the first U.S airline to launch Visa Checkout, building on its innovative new website with a simple and speedy new way to process online payments. Visa Checkout is designed to make online shopping as easy as a physical card 'swipe', after signing up once, Visa Checkout removes the need to enter card details during the online checkouts process wherever consumers see the Visa Checkout button. As the first and only U.S airline to offer a fully responsive website, Visa Checkout is available when booking Virgin America Flights across all devices. It follows the transformational re-design of Virgin America's website in 2014, which features a fresh look and feel and responsive design. To celebrate the launch of Visa Checkout, Virgin America is offering $25 off a future flight to all guests that use Visa Checkout on the airline's website through March 15, 2015, while supplies last.

(T&T World)

NON- ALCOHOL HOTEL TAKES OFF IN IBADAN, NIGERIA.

Hospitality industry in Nigeria is not only growing despite the stifling economic situation, but also witnessing the emergence of brand concept to cater for distinct buyers and consumers. In Ibadan, Oyo State, at the end of Aalafin Avenue, Oluyole Estate Extension, a hotel christened:'Solam Executives Suites' has reared its head telling all: "NO alcohol is sold here". According to Shodimu, "Solam is one out of all hotels in Ibadan which sets outs to offer that unique services delivery by upward moblie and thoroughly trained staff to satisfy the yearning of customers in the most conducive atmosphere devoid of alcohol and lewdness. It is a hotel carved for the best of minds" (Daily Independent)

Expert seeks Nigeria's development through tourism

An expert in tourism development in Nigeria has stated that tourism sector, if properly utilised, is capable of turning Nigeria's economy around an lift it out of it's current austerity situation.

Mr. Uwakwe Solomon, Executive Director, Tourism World International, disclosed this recently at the Tourism intl launch/award ceremony tagged". APPRECIATING TOURISM WORLD INTERNATIONAL and THE LENGENDS OF TOURISM"  which his company organized at Trans-corp Hilton Abuja. 

He said it is because there tends to be an absent mindedness on the significance of tourism as an industry in Nigeria that has made the sector not to have achieved its full potentials in the country, adding that Nigreia "needs to bring some good examples of tourism values from overseas and compare them to what we have here and see how we can improve on the natural tourist endowments that nature has bestowed on us which are calling for attention.

Solomon said events have shown that tourism is the only industry that does not fade, wear out, depreciate or become obsolete and that with the fallen oil prices in Nigeria at the moment, there is need to look inwards with the objective of harnessing the enormous wealth in the sector.

His words: "Tourism could therefore be rightly said to be a collection of activities, services and industries that delivers a travel experience, including transportation, accommodation, eatingand drinking establishments, retails shops, entertainment businesses, activity facilities and other hospitality services provided for individuals or groups travelling away from home.

He cited the United State of America where tourism provides over six million jobs, making it the country's largest employer.

"According to Somsak Pureesrisak, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sport, Tourism is Thailand's top revenue earner, expected to earn 2 trillion Thai Baht ($65 billion) annaually by 2015. Thailand's distance from the US is (about 18 hours from the West Coast) is really great yet Americans keep visiting because the America love of Thailand hands down is based on the soft spoken gentility of its people and hospitality firmly rooted in respect for other's.

He added While speaking on tourism potentials of Dubai, Solomon said Dubai is suggested to be the largest hospitality toursim market in the world at the moment, with its tallest building in the world which houses the only 7-star hotel on earth as at today.

"According to the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce following their current data, by 2020 when Dubai will host the world expo, it will achieve target of attracting up to 20 million hotel guests.

It is  tourists that lodge most in hotels. Today, Nigeria account for 60 per cent Dubai apartment sales instead of investing at home. "In London and Austria, Nigeria own expensive properties in specific high profile areas as Landlords while such people may not have any series investment back home and so UK properties keep appreciating," he stressed.

(Daily Independent)

Nigeria Tourism & Culture Minister Pledges Support For Private Sector.

Tourism,Culture and National Orientation Minister, High Chief Edem Duke, has pledged the surpport of the federal Government for private sector investment in tourism development. The Minister made the pledge when he visited the massive Smoking Hills Golf Course and Resort in Ilanrin Mokin, Ondo State recently. The 18 hole golf course is owned by the  chairman of Elizade Nig, Cheif Ade Ojo, who is a native of Ilara Mokin.

Accompanied on the visit by the Artistic Director of the National Truope Mr. Akin Adejuwon the Minister used the opportunity of the visit to call on other well meaning individuals and groups to invest in the  development of tourism in the country. The Minister who was impressed with facilities at the golf course and resort noted that tourism, apart from offering good returns on investment, creates jobs and other oppoertunities for the investor and the community.

Nigerian Tourism  Develpoment Corporation  lauds Ondo State Governor

The Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) Dr Sally Mbanefo, has lauded the efforts of the ondo state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, for his commitment in uplifting the status of the state into a major tourists desitination in Nigeria. She made this remark at the recently concluded MARE FESTIVAL held in Idanre town. Speaking as a speacial guest, during the opening ceremony of the Idanre Resorts, developed by the state government, the NTDC boss revealed that Ondo State is one of the states in the country that has demostrated serious commitment to developing the state as a toursim hub.

According to her "as a result of the level of development in the state's tourism sector, I have continued to promote the various tourism potentials to the global community. Ondo State people are great in hospitality, each time i visit the state, there is always something beautiful that makes me feel at home. As an advocate of domestic tourism, the changes in the state and particularly Idanre Hills since the last time i visited are so dramatic scenic.

WHAT HAPPENED TO NIAGARA FALLS?

It's a stunning sight: Niagara Falls, the world's most famous waterfall, apparently frozen in place. The icy spectacle, brought on by weeks of severe cold, has drawn a  steady flow of intrepid tourists. But is it really frozen? Not exactly.

Here's a brief explanation of what really happen when the mighty Niagara River appears to form a crystalline cascade: for the second straight winter, the frigid weather in western New York State and lower Ontario has frozen vast sections of the US side of Niagara Falls, known as the American Falls, and the Canadian side, known as the Horseshoe Falls because of its shape.

But the water never actually stops flowing underneath. That is no accident: the Niagara River is an important source of hydropower, so a long ice boom made of steel catches any iceberge, while ice cutters work around the clock to prevent the fall from jamming up. if it's cold enough or long enough, an ice bridge forms along the river, connecting the US and Canada. Day-trippers once enjoyed sledding and drinking on the ice bridge until 1912, when it broke up and three poeple died- a Canadian couple who became stranded on a piece of ice and American teenager who tried to save them. (stuff.co.nz)