By VICTOR NZE

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Port Harcourt.

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place Port Harcourt

 

Le Meridien Ogeyi Place in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, has announced the launch of the brand’s new Petite Plates program.

According to the General Manager of the Hotel, Fabian Martinez, the programme is a food and beverage initiative which is in line with the French Bastille Day and comes with a select array of top European culinary classics.

“Our guests can experience our unique Petit Plates which comes with a chic twist, featuring a curated selection of European classics with a distinctly local flavor.

“Petit plate is a food and beverage initiative activated on the 16th of July in line with the French Bastille Day with the display of varieties of the Chef’s locally inspired recipes.

“The campaign is designed to engage our guests and external audiences as they savor our unexpected varieties while enjoying Le Meridien Sparkling glass of wine.

“It is our culture at Le Meridien Ogeyi place to deliver our Le Meridien Brand experiences to our guests as we ensure that each guest stay is memorable” Said Martinez on a final note,” Martinez said.

Lanseria airportManagement of Lanseria International Airport in South Africa has said it is investing in SITA’s self-service technology that will add new convenience for passengers while providing improved common-use functionality for airlines.

Acording to the airport management, using SITA’s self-service systems, passengers will now be able to quickly check-in and drop their bags before proceeding directly to the gate without having to visit a traditional check-in counter.

In a first for a South African airport, passengers who have checked-in online or on their mobile device can now tag and drop their bags in less than a minute using SITA’s Scan&Fly self bag-drop units.

Scan&Fly’s plug-and-play design allows the bag-drop solution to be easily installed onto existing airport check-in desks, maximizing terminal space while leveraging the speed of self-service.

Using SITA’s Airport iValidate, Lanseria International Airport will be able to automatically verify all types of boarding passes, including home-printed A4 and mobile boarding passes, increasing security and speeding up the check-in process for passengers.

Behind the scenes, Lanseria International Airport will roll out new baggage reconciliation technology from SITA, providing passengers with greater confidence that their baggage will arrive with them at their destination. It will help airlines using the airport to comply with IATA’s Resolution 753, which requires that they track bags at key points during the journey.

The airport is also upgrading its common-use kiosks and desk infrastructure to use SITA’s cloud-based solution, eliminating the need for local servers. This common-use infrastructure is critical in providing greater flexibility for airlines operating from the airport by allowing them to share common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) for check-in and boarding.

Gavin Sayce, Chief Operating Officer of Lanseria International Airport, said: “Our passengers and airlines have always valued the ease of use when travelling through Lanseria International Airport. The investment in new technology – together with new infrastructure such as the multi-storey parking we are building – is aimed at maximizing this convenience. We want this airport to remain the airport of choice for both airlines and their passengers.”

Lanseria International Airport, north of Johannesburg, has established itself as a favored low-cost hub for passengers to quickly and conveniently connect to South Africa’s other main cities. FlySafair recently joined Kulula and Mango in operating flights from Lanseria to Cape Town, Durban and now George. The airport handles over 2 million passengers a year and the existing passenger terminal is being extended to accommodate more airlines and flights.

Maneesh Jaikrishna, Vice President Indian Subcontinent, Eastern & Southern Africa said: “Our research shows that an overwhelming number of passengers prefer to use technology rather than a human interaction when in the airport. They value the control and convenience that self-service options such as self-bag drop and mobile boarding provide. This is the case with Lanseria International Airport where passengers are accustomed to a smooth passage through the travel steps.”

sheraton abuja hotelsSheraton Abuja hotel has announced two major activities this July 2017; the World Lasagna Day, and the Ladies Night.

According to the hotel, the Food and Beverage team will stimulate the taste buds of food enthusiasts and patrons by celebrating the World Lasagna day.

“Our customers and in-house guests will enjoy a creamy blend of textures and flavours from our ever enriching Lasagna Menu at the Luigi’s Italian Restaurant. We will be offering three types of Lasagne specials; Melan Zane Al Forno (vegetable lasagne) Lasagne Al forno (Beef Lasagne) and Cannelloni Con Pollo e Spinaci,” said Director of Communications for the Sheraton, Four points and Le Meridien Brands in Nigeria,  Ms Nanji Tyem.

Continuing, Nanji said: “We have organized Saturday the 29th of July from 12:30 noon till 11:00 pm for this Celebration; we encourage all our weekend loving visitors to drop by and savour our delectable offering with has a competitive prize starting from just N4,000 only. The experience is sure to be tasteful.

In another bid to spark off the July summer vibe,  Sheraton Abuja Hotel, will kick off its Ladies night every Wednesday event starting from the 26th of July 2017.

“Our Ladies night experience will bring undiluted fun and energy to our female enthusiasts, we have set up everything to motivate a ladies evening and encourage a relaxed friends meet up or hangout. Every Wednesday from 6pm all female visitors and guests dining at our Pool Bar and Restaurant will be offered a welcome glass of Prosecco wine from Italy.

The Sheraton Abuja also urged guests to spend up to N4, 000 at the Pool bar and Restaurant and get a 15 per cent discount voucher on an illuminating steam and sauna session at the Sheraton Fitness Centre.

“Not to leave out that for added relaxation we will have different exciting flavours of shisha available on request. We kindly urge all our Abuja residents and Loyal Patrons to visit us this July as we continue to bring unexpected and eventful activities for your added pleasure,” Nanji said.

Lagos Ford

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (third left) flanked by members of the delegation from Ford Foundation led by its President, Mr Darren Walker (second left) , during the meeting which held at Lagos House in Ikeja

By VICTOR NZE

The Lagos State Government has sealed a major partnership with the Ford Foundation on the total regeneration of Lagos Island and transformation of the Onikan axis to a major tourism hub in Africa.

Briefing Government House Correspondents after a strategic meeting held at Lagos House in Ikeja with an high-powered delegation from Ford Foundation led by its President, Mr Darren Walker, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode said the State Government was delighted to partner with the foundation on issues of mutual interest, saying that the initiative would go a long way in activating the tourism potentials of the State.

The Governor said already the State Government was putting finishing touches to the plan to construct a new Museum in Onikan, while the new Lagos History Centre coming on board in the axis and the Presidential Lodge would be transformed to what would be known as Eko Park.

Going into details, Governor Ambode said: “We just received the President of Ford Foundation, Mr Darren Walker and his team and we are excited that they are willing to partner with us. We have always spoken about the regeneration of the Lagos Island axis. You are also aware that Lagos is planning to build a new Museum in Onikan and also to be able to use the Lagos History Centre and the Presidential Lodge where we want to turn into what we call Eko Park.

“Ford Foundation is the second largest private foundation that we have in the world. They are very credible and we believe strongly that they are lover of arts and having the foundation partner with us in the regeneration of the Lagos Island axis which we want to use to promote arts and tourism, is something that is very good for Lagos and I am excited to receive them.”

Also speaking, Walker said the foundation warmly welcomes the partnership with the State Government, and that the team was optimistic about a great future in the State.

He also eulogized the leadership qualities of Governor Ambode, saying that the vision of the Governor for the State was inspiring.

“I have admired Governor Ambode from afar for some time and then inspired by his leadership and his vision along with my colleagues, we sought an audience today with him and it was an opportunity for us to learn about his vision for Lagos State and we leave this meeting inspired, motivated and very hopeful about the future here,” Walker said.

Nigeria

Nigeria Tourism

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has assured that is poised to stimulate domestic tourism to create employment and boost internally generated revenue for government and host communities.

Newly elected president of the association, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, who said this, Thursday, in Abuja, noted further that tourism had the potentialities to generate huge revenue for the government and providing employment for the people.

“We must get it right with domestic tourism market before expecting foreign tourists to come in droves. We will do a research and the findings will help us identify Nigeria’s tourist market abroad. Our main tourist attraction is the diversity of our cultural heritage.

“In marketing Nigeria, we will ascertain countries interested in Africa and execute targeted marketing and promotions at those countries.

“This will include road shows, exhibition and rigorous advertisement and social media marketing campaigns; we will emphasise giving tourists exactly the experience we promised them when marketing our tourism destinations,’’ Rabo said.

He said that the association’s determined goal was to richly grow the domestic tourism market in the country.

Rabo, who is also the Managing Director, All States Travel and Tour Ltd., said the association aimed at ensuring significant improvement in the hospitality services, enrich destinations and tourist facilities.

“We also want to see an increase in the number of recorded tourist arrivals at the country’s tourist sites and a significant increase in the contribution of tourism to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and other internally generated revenues.

“Our other strategy is to systematically involve local host communities in the day-to-day handling of tourism sites and the tourists. The host communities will contribute to tourism activities in their localities in terms of primary food chains supply, tour guides, security vigilante, souvenirs and handcraft sales, traditional entertainment and other direct tourism services.

“Nevertheless, we will proactively engage state governments’ apparatus to organise tourists for the host communities, collect taxes and other levies, which in turn shall be shared with the host communities,’’ Rabo said.

According to him, the aim is for the host communities to participate as stakeholders in the state government’s tourism ventures.

He said that the most effective way to get the communities to totally buy-in was for the state government to give some percentage of revenue generated at the tourist host communities back to them.

“In doing such, the communities will see the success of their community as a tourist destination and this is pivotal to eradicating poverty, creating employment and improving their collective livelihood,’’ Rabo said.

victor olaiya

victor olaiya

Legendary musician Victor Olaiya has given his support to plans by the Centre for Black Arts and African Civilisation (CBAAC) to commemorate 40 years after FESTAC”77 was hosted by Nigeria, even as tasked CBAAC to ensure full participation of African musicians in the forthcoming celebration.

Olaiya gave the support when the Director-General of CBAAC, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, led his management staff on a courtesy visit to the musician at his Lagos residence on Thursday.

He said he was not happy that Nigerian musicians were not allowed to interact with other African musicians during FESTAC’’77.

Olaiya appealed to CBAAC, which is the organization planning to commemorate four decades of FESTAC”77 to ensure that all African musicians were given special opportunities to perform together to foster peace on the continent.

He said that CBAAC should endeavour to carry along in o its programme  all African musicians that participated in f FESTAC”77 and are still alive  in its  planning and performance to make it a huge success.

“I am glad to hear that FESTAC is 40 years already, I wish you well in the planning and I want you to engage musicians that performed then like me and the younger ones. It was a memorable cultural event, my band featured prominently there and I made reasonable sales; but we were restricted from mingling with musicians from other countries.

“But the joy of it all was that our music was well appreciated by everyone, even up till now. I worked tirelessly with other musicians then to make the event a memorable and successful one, we give glory to God that the memories still linger on and we will continue to talk about it,’’ he said.

Olaiya charged the budding Nigerian artists to come up with positive musical contents capable of ministering to the souls and passing across positive morals.

“Though the youths love the kind of music that is trending now; but we as parents must keep directing the young ones on the path to tread so as to be successful, “he said.

Remarking, CBAAC Director-General, Dr Ferdinand Anikwe, said the centre deemed it important to engage some musicians who took part in the FESTAC”77 celebration which Olaiya was one in its FESTACC ‘’77@40 activities.

He stressed that Victor Olaiya’s contributions toward the success of the event then were significant and enormous.

“We have come to draw inspiration from a musical icon like Victor Olaiya, we have heard from him and from Victor Uwaifor. We will still go and see Ebenezer Obey, Paulson Kalu, Sunny Ade, Mike Ejeagha and more.

“We want to commemorate the world most famous cultural event which will encompass the entire world, not only Africans, so we need to draw inspirations from respected stakeholders on how we can make it a huge success.

“Coming to you sir, is fundamental to celebrating 40th anniversary of FESTAC”77, we have heard from you and we promise to adhere to your fatherly advice, ‘ he said.

He said that the celebration would commence by November.

SavedPicture-2016921233930.jpgKigali, the capital city of Rwanda will welcome World Travel Awards for the first time, with the Africa Gala Ceremony 2017 set to take place in the country’s thriving capital, Kigali, October 10.

Spanning several valley and hillsides, Kigali – renowned for its cleanliness and warm hospitality – is arguably one of the most attractive African capitals. It’s ideal location, in the centre of Rwanda, also makes it an ideal base for exploration.

“It will be an honour for the World Travel Awards to visit Rwanda for the first time, later this year.

“The heart of Africa, Rwanda has become rightfully known for its spectacular scenery – think thundering waterfalls, towering mountains and virgin rainforests – and rare wildlife. This is a fantastic opportunity for Rwanda to claim its rightful place as Africa’s rising star,” said World Travel Awards President and Founder, Graham Cooke.

World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony 2017 will take place at the five star Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre – which features the first convention centre in Rwanda with room for up to 5,000 delegates – alongside the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) and AviaDev Africa (10-12 October).

The leading hotel investment conference that connects business leaders from the international and local markets, driving investment into tourism projects, infrastructure and hotel development across Africa, AHIF is attended by the highest calibre international hotel investors of any conference in Africa.

Meanwhile AviaDev Africa is a unique event bringing together airports, airlines, governments, industry suppliers and tourism authorities to determine the future air connectivity and infrastructure development of Africa. The event provides an opportunity for the aviation and hotel development communities to share intelligence on their future plans, catalysing tourism development on the continent.

“I’m delighted that the World Travel Awards has chosen to hold its Africa ceremony on the main stage at AHIF. The combination of AHIF for hotel investment, AviaDev for aviation route planning and the WTA for excellence in travel, all happening at the same time and in the same place, is bound to focus more attention on the importance of a successful travel and hospitality industry to the economic future of Africa – and that has to be a good thing,” said Jonathan Worsley, Chairman, Bench Events.

Voting for the World Travel Awards Africa Gala Ceremony concludes on August 21, 2017.

World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all sectors of the tourism industry.

Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of quality, with winners setting the benchmark to which all others aspire.

Each year, World Travel Awards covers the globe with a series of regional gala ceremonies staged to recognise and celebrate individual and collective success within each key geographical region.

World Travel Awards celebrates its 24th anniversary this year and is acknowledged across the globe as the ultimate travel accolade.

Gerald Konwea

Gerald Konwea

By VICTOR NZE

Chief Executive Officer of CLIQIT and the arrow head of the promoters, Mr. Gerald Konwea, has disclosed of plans by his group to build a N3.6 billion business and leisure development park to be known as ‘The Arena’ in Abuja.

Konwea who said the proposed facility would host about 10,000 vendor international trade fair, also disclosed that ‘The Arena’ was originally designed to be erected in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.

According to Konwea, the proposed facility was moved to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the benefit of local and international investors ‘after the promoters could not find a common ground with the Cross River State government in terms of executing the trade event due every December despite signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with it in 2016.’

Konwea noted that the business and leisure park, which will seat on a 15-hectare land, will be kept busy all year round due to the carefully designed range of activities by the promoters, adding that they will key in to the Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MMSEs) initiatives of the federal government in order to tackle the high rate of unemployment.

“Besides the international trade fair that is expected to last 10 days while hosting thousands of attendees from around the world, the Arena will feature a startup campus and hi-tech research facilities designed to play host to thousands of interns yearly, a golf course, a race track for actual racing, a hotel and a helipad. The Arena is strategically designed to host truly amazing events for at least 30 out of the 52 weekends in a year while the campus and research laboratories will run 24/7”, he said.

He also emphasized that the entire project development which is already backed by a host of local and foreign partners and financiers is phased over four years but the Arena will start operations hopefully by end of this year with most of its planned events taking place concurrently.

He said that the 10,000 vendor international trade fair, is designed to focus on four strategic developmental areas such as ICT, Renewable Energy, Manufacturing and Agriculture, which would create 15,000 jobs yearly, generate N7 billion in Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), attract direct forex inflow and catalyze over $520m in exports, stressing that over 8,500 international vendors have been secured for the maiden edition of the event.

“But now that we are going ahead to build our own Arena for our own events, the colossal economic activity that we anticipate will be unprecedented – it’s nothing Nigeria has seen before or expect to see in the near future and this is true following the already approved designs for the project and the readiness of the partners involved”, he said.

According to him, the initiative is to deliver the biggest single-phase trade fair in the world which will boost trade in the West African sub-region, intra African trade and open up borders within the continent.

WA_agrofood45By VICTOR NZE

The German trade exibitions specialists, fairtrade has announced a date for the 4th edition of agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa, which is billed for the Accra International Conference Centre in Accra, Ghana.

According to the organizers, the event, agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa 2017 will take place from December 5 to 7, in Ghana’s capital city.

According to VDMA German Food Processing and Packaging Association, Ghanaian imports of process and packaging technology increased by 10% in 2016 to 77 million euro whereas West African imports of the same also went up by 10% to 557 million euro.

On this background it comes as no surprise that producers of process & packaging technology see great chances for business in Ghana and its surrounding West African countries.

Official national pavilions are confirmed by Algeria, Belarus, France and the Netherlands, in addition to leading exhibitors from 10 countries.

The agrofood & plastprintpack West Africa 2017 is supported by the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture and of Trade and Industry, the Delegation of the German Industry and Commerce in Ghana AHK, the French agrofood association adepta and AVEP – Associación Valenciana de Empresarios de Plásticos.

unescoBy VICTOR NZE

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s World Heritage Committee, which has been meeting in Krakow, Poland, since July 2, closed its annual session, Wednesday, with the announcement of the inscription of 21 new sites on World Heritage List.

The committee also extended or modified the boundaries of five sites already on the List, just as it also approved the withdrawal of the Simien National Park in Ethiopia and the Comoé National Park in Côte d’Ivoire from the List of World Heritage in Danger, while adding one more site to the List.

The new inscriptions bring to 1,073 the total number of sites on the World Heritage List. Angola and Eritrea saw their first sites join the List during the present session.

The new natural sites are: Los Alerces National Park (Argentina), Qinghai Hoh Xil (China), Landscapes of Dauria (Mongolia/Russian Federation).

The new cultural sites are: Mbanza Kongo, Vestiges of the Capital of the former Kingdom of Kongo  (Angola), Valongo Wharf Archaeological Site (Brazil), Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura (Cambodia), Kulangsu: a Historic International Settlement (China), Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar (Croatia, Italy, Montenegro).

Others are: Kujataa Greenland: Norse and Inuit Farming at the Edge of the Ice Cap (Denmark), Asmara: a Modernist City of Africa (Eritrea), Taputapuātea (France), Caves and Ice Age Art in the Swabian Jura (Germany), Historic City of Ahmadabad (India), Historic City of Yazd (Islamic Republic of Iran), Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region  (Japan), Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Palestine), Tarnowskie Góry Lead-Silver-Zinc Mine and its Underground Water Management System (Poland), Assumption Cathedral and Monastery of the town-island of Sviyazhsk (Russian Federation), Khomani Cultural Landscape (South Africa), Aphrodisias (Turkey), and the English Lake District (United Kingdom).

The extensions to existing sites include: Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe (Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Ukraine) [formerly “Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany” (Germany, Slovakia, Ukraine)], W-Arly-Pendjari Complex  (Benin, Burkina Faso) [formerly “W National Park of Niger” (Niger)], Bauhaus and its Sites in Weimar, Dessau and Bernau [formerly “Bauhaus and its sites in Weimar et Dessau”], Germany, Strasbourg: from Grande-île to Neustadt, a European urban scene [formerly “Strasbourg – Grande Ile”], France.

The Committee decided on a significant reduction in the perimeter of the Georgian site of Bagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, withdrawing Gelati Monastery from the List of World Heritage in Danger.

The Historic Centre of Vienna, on the other hand, was added to the List of World Heritage in Danger. The site of Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town was inscribed simultaneously on the List of World Heritage and on the List of World Heritage in Danger, which presently numbers 54 sites.