Saturday, 12 September 2015 00:00

NIS stopped 238 Nigerians, 297 foreigners from travelling out, into Nigeria in 2014

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) says that in 2014, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport command stopped 238 Nigerians from leaving the country for several reasons, while 297 foreigners were also refused admission into the country.

Chizoba Dibi, comptroller, Lagos airport command, NIS, who spoke at the maiden visit of new comptroller general, maintained that the command in 2014 received 5,149 Nigerians deported from various countries under regular deportees notice with 900 special deportees.

Besides, she said the command in the year under review repatriated 12 foreigners with Nigerian returnees totalling 2,902, saying the command in 2014 earned $704,058, while airlines – foreign and local – owed it $654,000, and it owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) N61,273.00.

Meanwhile, Martins Abeshi, new comptroller-general, NIS, has ordered the immediate suspension of inspection of immigration documents by its officers, saying the action portrayed unprofessionalism.

He also threatened to sack corrupt officers in the system if they do not change from their dastardly acts.

Speaking at his maiden visit to the Lagos airport command on Thursday, Abeshi said the service had received several complaints of visitations to companies, particularly in Lagos, by the service command under the guise of inspecting immigration documents.

Friday, 11 September 2015 00:00

Osun, Webisco partner on tourism resort in Ikirun

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The government of Osun State and a private tourism investor, Chief Mrs. Margaret Bolanle Fabiyi are to partner on the development of a world-class tourism resort in Ikirun.
The project, which is being fine-tuned, will cost billions of Naira and when completed, serve as one-stop centre for leisure, hospitality, entertainment, shopping, conference business and tours.
The resort, presumably second to none in Nigeria, will also have agricultural component to grow agric tourism and residential houses in addition to creating room for service providers, hospital, school, jetty, helipad and filling station among other facilities.
Speaking with travel writers in Lagos, Mrs. Fabiyi, popularly called, Webisco, said a project of this magnitude would certainly address the problem of unemployment as it would create jobs and generate revenue for the state in the face of stifling economic condition caused by the fall of crude oil price at the world market.
She disclosed that efforts were being made to complete the land acquisition and documentation, adding that the state government should do the needful by showing above average commitment financially and otherwise to birth the resort.
‘We have acquired a 25 sq km land in Ikirun, Osun State for the development of a one-stop tourism resort second to none in Nigeria yet. The land was facilitated by H.R.H the Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Rauf Olawale. The resort, when developed will have parks, hospital, school, residential buildings, jetty, filling station, business outlets, conference centre etc.
We are working out the modalities and would make an appropriate comment on its update when we have sorted out the grey arrears.

Thursday, 10 September 2015 00:00

Time for hospitality sector to contributes to the economy

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It’s time hospitality sector contributes more to the economy – Efa

As the call for the diversification of the Nigerian economy heightens, especially now that crude oil price keeps crashing everyday, BRIAN Efa, managing partner, Jonel Hospitality Consulting/Founder, Nigeria Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference, in this interview with OBINNA EMELIKE, explains how  the investment conference can help. Excerpt.

Why Nigeria Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference?

Over the years, I have followed the statistics released by United Nations World Tourism Organisation. For instance, according the UNWTO in 2013, total export earnings generated by international tourism in 2013 reached US$ 1.4 trillion. Then, I asked myself, what is the stake of Nigeria in all these, bearing in mind that the whole of African accounted for only 3 percent of this figure.
Also, I discovered that Nigeria has over 100 natural tourism sites with the capacity to generate revenue for each states of the federation if fully developed and marketed to Nigerians and international communities. These facts prompted these questions; why are they not developed? What are the challenges and why are people not interested in investing in the sector? So, I saw the need to bring together stakeholders at the Nigeria Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (NHTIC) to a discourse to give answers to these questions. There was also the need to find out from the international community why they are not investing in the tourism and hospitality sector in Nigeria, so we extended this conference to the international community to also hear from them what the problems are.

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 00:00

Tourism sector continues to decline

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THE South African tourism industry has been dealt another blow as airline ticket sales figures show that ticket purchases have dropped significantly.

Figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata) show that in July there was a 21% decline in year-on-year air ticket revenue for tickets purchased to travel to SA.

Air ticket revenue fell 26% year-on-year in June. Travel from Asia to SA has declined 32%, while tourist traffic from Europe and North America dipped 23% and 27% respectively in June, according to the Iata data.

The Iata numbers follow the release of Statistics SA figures showing a similar declining trend.

The tourism sector has blamed the recent developments on the country’s new visa regime, which it called "draconian and arbitrary".

But on Tuesday Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom said that Cabinet processes had to take their course before pronouncements could be made on the visa regulations and their effect on tourism.

"I really have nothing new to say, or to add, on what I have already said," he said.

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 00:00

Pope's visit set to usher new opportunities for pilgrimage tourism

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The upcoming Papal visit to the Central African Republic, Uganda, and Kenya in November is expected to bring tens of thousands of additional visitors to these countries, especially Uganda and Kenya, where the Catholic church is hugely influential.

Uganda is already on the map thanks to the annual Martyrs Day holiday, when the faithful from around the world flock to the shrine in Namugongo to pray. This becomes an annual milestone event supported by regional tourism boards and private sector bodies. Lesser known is the Rwandan site of worship and pilgrimage in Kibeho, where the apparition of Mary, mother of Jesus, appeared in 1981 and 1982. The site became a tourist attraction about 2 years ago but remains little known to Catholic pilgrims around the world.

However, as a meeting of tourism gurus at the Kigali Serena Hotel this morning concluded, the Papal visit has the potential to change this state of affairs. Carmen Nibigira, coordinator of the East Africa Tourism Platform, was joined by the West African tourism guru Ukechi Uko; Serena’s country manager, Charles Muia; Serena’s Director of Marketing, Rosemary Mugambi; Sandra Idossou of The ServiceMag; and others to discuss a closer East African cooperation aimed to increase the number of visitors from Nigeria and other West African countries with a large Catholic population.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 00:00

Peace deal in Southern Sudan and what it does for travel and tourism

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The recently-signed peace deal between the Juba regime and the breakaway faction of the SPLM-IO has so far held, and the stern warning by South Sudan’s Salva Kiir to his army and militia commanders to strictly observe the ceasefire and not launch fresh attacks on areas held by his opponents has gone some way to give reassurance that the deal will hold until IGAD troops arrive to stand between the former battle lines.

While East Africa, wary by the failure of every single ceasefire in the past and more by the lamentation of the regime over much of the signed peace deals being not really to their liking, has for now adopted a wait-and-see policy, according to reports that trade visits have begun to rise again. Key obstacles in South Sudan’s need to import goods from the region, mainly from Uganda and Kenya, are the empty coffers of the Central Bank of South Sudan, which has left no significant amounts of hard currency in its vaults as of now. Money inflows from renewed oil exports will eventually begin to change this, but for now, the South Sudanese currency has taken a severe hit as the black market value of the SS pound has risen sharply now that the guns have fallen silent.

Bahr el Jebel Safaris, which remained the only fully-licensed safari operator in South Sudan even though their expeditions had been halted since the outbreak of hostilities in mid-December 2013, has expressed cautious optimism to this correspondent that by early next year a resumption may be on the cards of their trips for intrepid explorers.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 00:00

Studies reveal hidden consequences of hunting Africa’s trophy lions

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J OHANNESBURG — After the global uproar over the death of a Zimbabwean lion dubbed Cecil, the hunting industry had a response: By killing animals, trophy hunters are actually saving Africa’s wildlife.
Trophy hunting, the industry contended, gives the animals an economic value to local communities, which otherwise see them as hated vermin to be exterminated at all costs. So although some are killed by hunters, greater numbers are saved.
But one body of research suggests an alternative hypothesis: Hunting, as currently practiced, has hidden consequences that take a far greater toll on lion populations than people realize.
Craig Packer, director of the Lion Research Center at the University of Minnesota, has led a series of studies identifying over-hunting as the major reason for the steep decline in lion populations in Tanzania, the biggest lion-hunting country in Africa. At the root of the problem, he believes, is the preference of trophy hunters for large male lions, the dominant animals in a pride.

When a hunter kills and takes home one big male trophy, other males fight and kill one another for dominance, Packer said. The male lions might also kill off the cubs and attack females who try to defend them. In Tanzania, Packer said, the big, older trophy males became so depleted that hunters started killing immature maneless lions.

Tuesday, 08 September 2015 00:00

Delta State programme stay

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The Nigeria Delta State Youth Empowerment Programme for Barbados, which became embroiled in controversy and court action shortly after it was launched earlier this year, is now likely to become a significant foreign exchange earner for this country.

Expressing satisfaction with the programme under which 70 Nigerian students will next month complete studies in tourism and hospitality and entrepreneurship at the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity (BIMAP), visiting Commissioner for Budgeting and Economic Planning Dr Kingsley Emu announced this afternoon that all 37 Nigerian states could take up the project.

Dr Emu told a news briefing that the new state government of Delta State would not only continue where the previous administration left off, but was looking to institutionalize the training and expertise offered by Barbados.

“It is not all about bringing [other youths] back here. It is also about institutionalizing the relationship in such a way [where] you bring your expertise to our environment and it becomes a joint venture which could be made available for a large population of people who are interested in such business,” the Delta State official said.

“It should not only be Delta State. We have 36 states and the federal capital territory, if you like 37.  So if we are able to institutionalize it in Delta State, it could just become a centre of excellence for . . . the whole country,” added Dr Emu who arrived here yesterday from Trinidad where he assessed the oil and gas segment of the programme.

Monday, 07 September 2015 00:00

Hope for health tourism in Nigeria

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To save millions of huge capital flight lost annually through those who seek for human body restructure to look young, restore their appearance and confidence abroad, Nordica Fertility Centre has opened a Body Art Cosmetic Surgery Centre and Wellness Clinic in Lagos.

The centre, which is due to commence full-operation next month, is geared to improve health status of Nigerians.

Addressing journalists at the Nordica Fertility Centre, Ikoyi, the Clinic Manager, Tola Ajayi, on Tuesday, said that the cosmetic surgery center is a combination of cutting edge-technology with an eye for artistry to ensure natural results, timeless beauty and lasting satisfaction.

The Nordica Clinic boss said: “Today, we reveal to you – Body Art Cosmetic Surgery Cente and Nordica Wellness Clinic, a result of research and development. You will agree with me, that there is nothing like looking, feeling young and feeling good. We desire and love you to have the body of your dreams, and that is our strong message. We offer a refreshing approach to renew your appearance and restore your self-confidence.

“Our cosmetic surgery center is a combination of cutting edge-technology with an eye for artistry to give you natural results, timeless beauty and lasting satisfaction. This is what Body Art Cosmetic Surgery Center epitomizes,” she added.

Ajayi added that the Clinic would engage in other services, which include: egg cryopreservation, counseling, weight loss, mind-body medicine, acupuncture and genetic compatibility testing.

Monday, 07 September 2015 00:00

PH Gets New Museum, Zoo

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Stakeholders in the tourism industry in Nigeria converged last week in Port Harcourt for the pre-opening facility tour of the Museum of African History and Culture, and Zoo located in the Brooklyn Tourist Centre, Rumuosi near the University of Port Harcourt.
The complex is the brain child of one of the leading tourism practitioners in the country, Alabo Mike Amachree, the former President of the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN).
The Museum has history of top Manarchs who has left indelible marks in the history of Nigeria.
After being taken round the complex to see the zoo and the museum, the practitioners also visited the chairman of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, His Majesty Dandeson Douglas Jaja, the Amayanabo of Opobo.
Amachree described tourism as a major economic activity which generates income and also creates employment for the people.
He said for a country or state to attract tourists of local and international status, there was the need for such infrastructures and super structures capable of attracting tourists to be put in place in addition to the tourists attractions.

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