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Nigerian banga soup (Ofe Akwu)

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Nigerian banga soup (Ofe Akwu)

Banga soup (stew) has over the years topped the list of Nigerian stew recipes due to its uniqueness and blend of natural ingredients.
I learned that it is more advisable to make stew with palm oil than groundnut/vegetable oil.
This is entirely different from the Deltan version that is served with starch or eba.
The Banga soup (ofe akwu as the Igbos calls it)) is very easy to make and very popular in the eastern part of Nigeria, almost every ingredient used in making this stew could be gotten from the farm, that is why it is a little bit easier for folks in the rural areas while it remains difficult for people outside the country to find all the ingredients that are required.
This is another kind of Nigerian stew popularly eaten by the Igbos and some other parts of Nigeria; I would prefer this stew above Nigerian tomato stew any day.
Here is a list of ingredients used in making Nigerian Banga soup (stew) ‘ofe akwu’, (as the Igbos Ingredients:
Banga (palm fruit) (9-10 cups)
Two kilograms of meat
One sachet of ‘Onga soup’ spice
A cup of sliced onions
Two cups of sliced fluted pumpkin (optional)
Two cubes of maggi
A cup of sliced scent leaf
Dried fish (500g)
Half cup of ground crayfish
Fresh or dried pepper to taste
Salt to taste

Preparation:
Soak the dried fish in hot water and wash thoroughly to remove sand and dirt, blend the crayfish or blend together with dry pepper if you are making banga stew with dried pepper, although I prefer to use red fresh peppers.
Chop the onion and set aside in a plate, I like to make most foods with lots of onions just because of its health benefits.
Cook the palm fruits (banga fruits) for 30 to 50 minutes then pound with a mortar and pestle. Pour water in a bowl, add the pounded palm fruit and try to squeeze out the thick syrup. The palm fruit juice is a major part of banga soup. Pour the squeezed-out thick juice into a bowl and set aside.
Wash the meat with hot water and parboil with a separate pot till it is tender (be sure to add the ingredients – use the two cubes of maggi, a teaspoon of salt, half cup of onions.). Add the squeezed-out palm fruit juice to the boiling meat on fire.
Add the (dried fish and crayfish) to the cooking pot and cook for about 10 minutes
Add your spices if it is not yet as tasteful as required. (Sachet of “onga soup” and/or a seasoning cube). Stir and add the scent leaf (chopped), sliced onions, salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook for another minute then add the chopped vegetables (optional), allow to simmer for another three minutes and you just made a delicious Nigerian banga stew (ofe akwu)
Serve with rice, yam or cooked beans.

*Culled: allnigerianfoods.com

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TRAVEL BEATS: Australia, Bahrain, China, India, others earn new UNESCO World Heritage Listing

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TRAVEL BEATS: Australia, Bahrain, China, India, others earn new UNESCO World Heritage Listing

The World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Eudcational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has announced seven new listings on the growing list of cultural sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

 

The new additions listed are situated in Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Indonesia, Japan and People’s Democratic Republic of Lao. This is according to eturbonews.com report.

 

Details and descriptions of the new sites are: Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain):

 

 

The Dilmun Burial Mounds, built between 2050 and 1750 BCE, span over 21 archaeological sites in the western part of the island.

 

Six of these sites are burial mound fields consisting of a few dozen to several thousand tumuli. In all there are about 11,774 burial mounds, originally in the form of cylindrical low towers. The other 15 sites include 17 royal mounds, constructed as two-storeyed sepulchral towers.

 

The burial mounds are evidence of the Early Dilmun civilization, around the second millennium BCE, during which Bahrain became a trade hub, whose prosperity enabled the inhabitants to develop an elaborate burial tradition applicable to the entire population.

 

 

These tombs illustrate globally unique characteristics, not only in terms of their number, density and scale, but also in terms of details such as burial chambers equipped with alcoves. Budj Bim Cultural Landscape (Australia): Located within the Country of the Gunditjmara, an Aboriginal nation in the southwest of Australia, the property includes the Budj Bim Volcano and Tae Rak (Lake Condah), as well as the Kurtonitj component, characterised by wetland swamps, and Tyrendarra in the south, an area of rocky ridges and large marshes.

 

The Budj Bim lava flows, which connect these three components, have enabled the Gunditjmara to develop one of the largest and oldest aquaculture networks in the world. Composed of channels, dams and weirs, they are used to contain floodwaters and create basins to trap, store and harvest the kooyang eel (Anguilla australis), which has provided the population with an economic and social base for six millennia. Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City (China): Located in the Yangtze River Basin on the southeastern coast of the country, the archaeological ruins of Liangzhu (about 3300-2300 BCE) reveal an early regional state with a unified belief system based on rice cultivation in late Neolithic China. The property is composed of four areas; the Area of Yaoshan Site, the Area of High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, the Area of Low-dam on the Plain and the Area of City Site.

 

These ruins are an outstanding example of early urban civilization expressed in earthen monuments, urban planning, a water conservation system and a social hierarchy expressed in differentiated burials in cemeteries within the property. Jaipur City, Rajasthan (India): The fortified city of Jaipur, in India’s northwestern state of Rajasthan was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II. Unlike other cities in the region located in hilly terrain, Jaipur was established on the plain and built according to a grid plan interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture.

 

The streets feature continuous colonnaded businesses that intersect in the centre, creating large public squares called chaupars. Markets, stalls, residences and temples built along the main streets have uniform facades. The city’s urban planning shows an exchange of ideas from ancient Hindu and modern Mughal as well as Western cultures. The grid plan is a model that prevails in the West, while the organization of the different districts refers to traditional Hindu concepts. Designed to be a commercial capital, the city has maintained its local commercial, artisanal and cooperative traditions to this day.

 

Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage of Sawahlunto, (Indonesia):

 

Built for the extraction, processing and transport of high-quality coal in an inaccessible region of Sumatra, this industrial site was developed by the Netherlands’ colonial government from the late 19thto the beginning of the 20th century with a workforce recruited from the local population and supplemented by convict labour from Dutch-controlled areas. It comprises the mining site and company town, coal storage facilities at the port of Emmahaven and the railway network linking the mines to the coastal facilities. The The Ombilin Coal Mining Heritage was built as an integrated system that enabled the efficient deep-bore extraction, processing, transport and shipment of coal.

 

Mozu-Furuichi Kofun Group: Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan (Japan):

 

Located on a plateau above the Osaka Plain, this property includes 49 kofun (old mounds in Japanese). Burial mounds of various sizes, kofun can take the form of key holes, scallops, squares or circles. These tombs were for members of the elite, containing a range of funerary objects (such as weapons, armour and ornaments). They were decorated with clay figures, known as haniwa, which can take the form of cylinders or representations of houses, tools, weapons and human silhouettes.

 

These kofun have been selected from a total of 160,000 in Japan and form the richest material representation of the Kofun period, from the 3rd to the 6th century CE. They demonstrate the differences in social classes of that period and reflect a highly sophisticated funerary system. Megalithic Jar Sites in Xiengkhouang – Plain of Jars (Lao People’s Democratic Republic): The Plain of Jars, located on a plateau in central Laos, gets its name from more than 2,100 tubular-shaped megalithic stone jars used for funerary practices in the Iron Age.

 

This serial site of 15 components contains large carved stone jars, stone discs, secondary burials, tombstones, quarries and funerary objects dating from 500 BCE to 500 CE. The jars and associated elements are the most prominent evidence of the Iron Age civilization that made and used them until it disappeared, around 500 CE.

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Insider’s Guide to Dubai: How to live like a local

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Insider’s Guide to Dubai: How to live like a local

There is a multitude of ways to discover everything Dubai has to offer. With its multicultural, cosmopolitan DNA, no one knows Dubai quite like its residents, who are a great guide to help you discover hidden gems, experience local culture, and immerse yourself in local customs and expectations.

 

Do in DUBAI

 

One of the best ways to gain an appreciation of Dubai’s culture and customs is by making your way to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). Visit the centre for an authentic Emirati meal, heritage tours, or just to see the beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood.

 

Be sure to ask plenty of questions! Calligraphy is one of the highest art forms of the Arab world and a primary form of Islamic visual expression and creativity.

 

Tucked away in the heart of Alserkal, you can find eL Seed studio, home to the “calligraffiti” artist’s intricate compositions and public art projects that fuse traditional Arabic calligraphy with the style and colours of graffiti. eL Seed’s work can be found across prominent international public spaces, galleries and institutions, including his first public-art project in Dubai at the Green Planet and a commissioned sculpture at the renowned Dubai Opera.

 

HERITAGE FOR HENNA

 

True to the traditions of the Middle East, henna is another art form that has been developed into a skilled craft. As one of the first beauty products ever developed for natural body art, henna painting continues to be a popular beauty treatment in Dubai today and plays an important role in the lives of many Emirati women. This ancient art form has been perfected by several henna artists across the city, including Heritage for Henna, and Rachna Salon, pioneers in Arabic henna design.

 

Cara For a truly unique souvenir of your visit to Dubai, you can create a custom gold pendant with your name in Arabic.

 

Places like Cara Jewellers and other shops in Dubai’s glittering Gold Souk or Gold and Diamond Park offer reasonable prices for 18 carat gold with a quick turnaround so you can have your custom-made piece of jewellery ready before the end of your stay. Or perhaps you’re getting ready to pop the question, in which case you can design the perfect engagement ring.

 

Dubai’s coastline is packed with beautiful beaches, but you can never find two that are alike. Each coast has its own personality. The Black Palace Beach is perfect for those looking for the city’s most serene – and secret – shorelines.

 

This reclusive stretch of public beach is nestled between Dubai Media City and the royal summer palaces at Al Sufouh, with crystal blue waters perfect for splashing and paddling, and stunning sunset featuring views of Palm Jumeirah. Coffee Museum Make your way to museums across Old Dubai to get a glimpse of the bustling city life: Dubai Museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, built back in 1787 as a defence fort that later turned into an arsenal for artillery and weapons. Entry is only for AED 3, and gives you insight into the history of Dubai.

 

The Coffee Museum, UAE’s first ever museum dedicated to coffee also deserves a visit. The free-to-enter site explores the significance of coffee in Dubai’s history. Coin collectors will be sure to love the Coin Museum, which is set in a his- toric building built in 1918. The museum houses a collection of over 470 coins since the early Islamic caliphates. Dine in DUBAI The Deira Waterfront Market replaced the long-standing Deira Fish Market in 2017, and is one of the best places to buy fresh fish and produce in the city.

 

Here, you can purchase fresh catch all day (and even haggle for the best price), or head out to one of the waterfront restaurants and have it cooked for you for as little as AED 15. Immerse yourself in Dubai’s authentic flavours and stories with Frying Pan Adventures, in parts of the city that few tourists and newer expats visit. Be it a walking food trail, an interactive cooking demo or an experiential meal, Frying Pan Adventures curate intimate and unadulterated experiences for residents and visitors to Dubai.

 

Their latest offering is called Dubai Food Tour on Wheels, where visitors hop aboard a bus to enjoy four iconic food tastings, lively stories and vibrant street art across four Old Dubai neighbourhoods. A passionate guide will provide insight on Dubai’s meteoric rise from a small coastal town, as you savour foods from Emirati, Arabic, Indian and Iranian communities.

 

Dubai’s Original Food Tour Company – Frying Pan Adventures Eat like locals on walking food tours, food tours on wheels, and more with Dubai’s 1st food tourism company, Fry… Dubai’s legendary Lebanese bakery, Al Reef Bakery is famed for serving up some of the best manakeesh in town (Arabic snack of freshly baked dough bread topped with cheese and other fillings).

 

You can still get your hands on one for less than AED 10! Try za’atar (a Middle Eastern thyme and sesame-based paste), spicy tomato, spinach or gloriously gooey cheese – whatever you choose is made right before your eyes in a blistering hot brick oven.

 

Al Reef Lebanese Bakery – Dubai Rated 4.0/5. Located in Al Karama, Dubai. Serves Lebanese. Known for Variety of Manakish available 24/7.

 

Cost A…

 

While Gahwa (Arabic coffee) is the ultimate expression of Emirati hospitality, there’s no bigger hit among the young generation than milky and sweet Karak Chai.

 

Traditionally boiled on a low flame and made with a combination of black tea, milk, sugar and Indian spices like cardamon, cloves, ginger and cinnamon for a richer infusion, Karak is the star of low-key outings or gatherings with family and friends.

 

A great place to sample a steaming brew of Karak is at Filli Tea & Café, one of the first franchises to pioneer a home-grown Karak chai café concept. However, locals will swear by smaller cafeterias across Satwa and Bur Dubai, where you can pick up a cup of chai for only AED 1 or 2.

 

Home – FiLLi

 

If fresh, traditional and wholesome food is what you’re after, then Seven Sands welcomes visitors to participate in a hands-on Emirati Cooking Class.

 

This uniquely local culinary experience takes place every Tuesday morning from 10am until 12pm, where you can learn about local Emirati cuisine and have a go at cooking two of the nation’s best-loved dishes for yourself. You can then savour your culinary creations as part of a three-course meal, which includes a traditional mezzeh platter, main course and Emirati dessert.

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Rwanda: 24 hours in Kigali

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Rwanda: 24 hours in Kigali

DEBRA KAMIN who was in Kigali writes on the heart of the New Africa, which sits upon 1,000 hills.

 

Kigali, Rwanda’s colourful capital, is a city of hills, high energy and happy hustle. To truly feel the new Rwanda – the progressive, sustainable nation that emerged from the ashes of 1994’s horrific genocide and today is almost obsessively optimistic – there’s no better way than to jump on a moto, the city’s ever-present motorbike taxis, and hold on for dear life as your driver speeds up and down Kigali’s slopes on streets so clean you could practically eat off of them.

 

Rwanda has not forgotten the terror that spun out of control just 23 years ago, but it is fair to say that the country has rebuilt and re-emerged as a unified and progressive nation.

 

Technology, clean-energy initiatives and gender equality are more than talking points here; they are a way of life. Street crime is at rock-bottom levels. And upstart restaurants, galleries and boutique fashion designers are filling the city. With delicious food, eclectic shopping and genuine warmth from the locals, a day in Kigali is a day well spent.

 

8am

 

Dive straight into the history of Kigali with breakfast at the Hotel des Mille Collines, better known to foreigners as the Hotel Rwanda, thanks to its central role in the eponymous 2004 film starring Don Cheadle.

 

The Hotel des Mille Collines, which prior to the Rwandan genocide was considered the most luxurious bolthole in the entire nation, became internationally famous after more than 1,000 Rwandans took refuge inside its walls during the genocide and were protected by the hotel’s manager, Paul Rusesabagina. Today, the hotel has lost some of its five-star luster, but its charming pool, warm and friendly service, and delicious breakfast buffet remain. Take advantage of all three by sidling up to the poolside terrace for an early morning feast of pastries, meats, tropical fruit and eggs made to order.

 

9am

 

No place better captures the colour and energy of modern Kigali than its Kimironko Market, a chaotic wonderland of produce, fabrics and souvenirs, all accessed through a maze of crowded alleys packed with shouting vendors. Be prepared to haggle for prices and for sellers to swarm you as they offer their wares; don’t mind the pandemonium – it’s friendly, and no one will take offense if you choose not to purchase.

 

 

10am

 

After the din of Kimironko, switch gears for some quiet reflection. The Kigali Genocide Memorial, arguably the most important site in the entire city, opened in 2004 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the genocide, and remains its definitive site for education, tribute and historical record of that extreme tragedy.

 

For a first-time visitor to Rwanda, the memorial, which is one part museum and one part burial ground for more than 250,000 victims, answers the essential questions of how the country’s history set the stage for the horrific genocide.

 

What the atrocities looked like, and how, 20 years on, the nation continues to unify and rebuild. 1pm After a jam-packed morning, feast both your eyes and your appetite at the quintessential midday Kigali celebration that is its trademark lunch buffet. White-collar businessmen, blue-colour day labourers and every colour of Kigali citizen in between come together at the city’s iconic all-you-can-eat feasts to enjoy plates piled high with soup, rice, plantains and curries.

 

And at Shokola Storytellers Cafe, a charming, rustic spot that sits smack on top of the Kigali Public Library, you can enjoy open-air breezes, sweeping views over Kigali’s rolling green hills and an endless variety of hearty vegetarian fare.

 

The fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies here sweeten the deal (literally). 3.30pm Kigali boasts a thriving art scene that is deeply tied to its social welfare initiatives and community growth. And the Kacyiru neighbourhood, just around the corner from Shokola, is one of the city’s ultimate hotspots for exciting, cuttingedge galleries to scout.

 

Start your cultural education at Inema Arts Centre, a collective of young Rwandan artists that provides gallery space to 10 artists-inresidence and showcases mixed media, sculpture and painting, all infused with the buzzing creativity of modern-day Kigali. Once you’ve browsed to your heart’s content, scoot around the corner to Ivuka Arts Studio, a grassroots arts education centre that introduced modern art to Rwanda and now houses over a dozen young artists who create within its walls.

 

If you have a love of funky, bright, unabashedly modern African art, it’s quite likely you’ll end up leaving one of these two spots with a purchase wrapped to hang at home. 5.30pm Prefer the type of art that you can wear, rather than stare at on the wall?

 

Rwanda’s budding fashion scene is rich and quickly earning international acclaim. For the best selection of high-quality ethical African fashion, all made at home in Rwanda and crafted with the utmost care, check out Haute Baso, where modern style and traditional craftsmanship coexist to create sleek African-inspired clothing, intricate accessories and all manner of wearable art.

 

If your shopping itch remains, take a quick seven-minute drive to Sonia Mugabo, headquarters of one of Rwanda’s most exciting young woman designers, where bespoke and off-the-rack creations can be ordered or purchased on the spot. 7.30pm Heaven, an expertariat run restaurant and boutique hotel nestled on a high perch and offering lovely Kigali views, is an ideal spot to rest and recharge after a long day exploring the city. Watch the city below slowly fill with twinkling lights as you feast on the elegant Africanfusion fare of this little gem.

 

Standouts include their Rwandan beef filet with cassava leaf chimichurri; the harissa chicken supreme with pineapple tabouleh; and the lip-smacking deep-fried Lake Kivu sambaza, a delectable starter course of tiny, crunchy local fish served up with aioli and spicy habanero sauce. Many nights at Heaven include live music, dancing or drum circles, so call ahead if you’re curious about entertainment options to go with your meal. 9.30pm Pili Pili is the name of a super-hot African pepper oil, but at the bar and lounge Pili Pili, everything is perfectly cool.

 

Close out your nonstop Kigali day with a cocktail or round of ice-cold Mutzig beers by the neon-lit pool at this ultra-sleek spot. Here, life-size statues of zebras and gorillas hang out alongside the welldressed diners; jazz and pop songs play amid the hum of conversation, and the nighttime hills of Kigali shimmer with lights just beneath the open patio.

 

 

*CULLED: Selamta – Ethiopian Airlines in – flight magazine

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Southern Sun Ikoyi celebrates staff for 10 years of Service

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Southern Sun Ikoyi celebrates staff for 10 years of Service

It was all pomp and celebration as the Southern Sun Ikoyi and Tsogo Sun South- Africa, honoured and toast to a number of its staff who have devoted 10 years of excellency service to the success of the hospitality outfit, which is this year marking its one decade of existence in the Nigerian hospitality market. Ninety three of the staff members enjoyed the accolades and various awards bestowed on them for keeping faith with the hotel all through the years.

 

Renowned for its excellent services that cuts across, dining, and wining, fascinating, comfortable and relaxing rooms, wellness, business conferences and meetings and entertainment and leisure packages, Southern Sun Ikoyi, has shown over the years that it is a first choice hotel for those with distinctive taste.

 

It successes as a famed business hotel of choice in Lagos and Nigeria, is attributed to its dedicated staff members who have over the years being the engine room of the esteemed institution.

 

They have in the course of the years acquired and honed their skills and professional competencies through different training and certification courses in and outside the shores of the country.

 

Adedoyin Famakinwa who works as cost controller of the hotel and one of those honored, described his journey with the hotel as a fulfilling one. He started his journey with the hotel in January 2009.

 

He stated that over the past 10 years of service, the hotel has actively engaged him in leadership and management skill trainings which have improved his personality, work efficiency and given better insights into the business management and engagements with his colleagues and industry players. Through these trainings, he has been able to improve as a business driver with focus on ensuring cost management across board from operations, to vendor management, thereby ensuring that the hotel gets the best deals in all it transactions. Famakinwa expressed delight over the opportunity given to him to excel and the confidence that the hotel management reposes in him in the discharge of his duties.

 

This, he said has ensured that he is able to manage the hotel’s running cost to a minimum industry standard and adding value to the organisation in operating at a healthy level, which further impacts on the cost of services to guests of the esteemed brand. He also stated that following the trainings, his colleagues through direct engagements have come to see the benefits of cost management and thinking like business drivers. This, according to him, has played a big role in the development of the staff members in owning their different spaces and delivering exceptional service in the course of their daily engagements with guests and visitors. For Ifeoma Obiorah, who works as credit controller of the hotel, it has been a smooth ride, with opportunities of self – improvement.

 

She joined the hotel 10 years ago as an account supervisor and over the years has risen to the present position she now occupies. She is particularly grateful for the various training and certification courses offered, especially the in-house trainings which she said has greatly impacted her skill and knowledge acquisition. Obiorah who is a two time recipient of the hotel’s staff of the month award also stated that ‘I Can do spirit’ is one which has been impacted on her and her colleagues in enhancing their efficiency and work smart culture. For the head of concierge unit, Gospel Osiebe, 10 years has been eventful and impactful.

 

Beyond the security at the gate, and the courteous doorman who ushers every guest with a smile on his face to the hotel, his role as the head of concierge for the past 10 years has been key in giving guests details about the exquisite offerings and facilities of the hotel. ‘‘I have played the role diligently alongside my team in being attentive to guests’ requests in providing them with the best quality of service that they need,” he disclosed.

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HOSPITALITY: Radisson Hotel Group unfolds brand marketplace in Nigeria

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HOSPITALITY: Radisson Hotel Group unfolds brand marketplace in Nigeria

Radisson Hotel Group has introduced its brands marketplace to the Nigerian hospitality scene in an attempt to bring it different brands closer to Nigerians.

 

Radisson is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, with seven distinctive brands. At a one-day workshop held at the RadissonBlu Hotel, GRA Ikeja, Lagos, the group showcased over 1,500 exquisite rooms from across its various properties in Africa to corporate travel buyers and travel agents in Nigeria. The workshop offered opportune for travel buyers and corporate travel consultants to network and experience various brands of the Radisson Hotel Group.

 

The Regional Director of Sales, Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, Vickie Muyanga, said workshop was an initiative of the hotel group to bring the various brands of the group closer to the Nigerian hospitality market.

 

“Radisson Hotel Group sees the importance of creating its own marketplace in Nigeria to bring the various brands of the group closer to the people as well as give wider Radisson Hotel Group access to various travel buyers, travel agents and corporate travel consultants,” said Muyanga.

 

He also expressed the fact that the impressive turnout of the event’s target audience in its debut show will ensure the Radisson Group Hotel Nigeria marketplace becomes an annual event. In his opening remarks, Radisson Hotel Group District Director Nigeria and General Manager, RadissonBlu Anchorage Hotel, Lagos, Kevin Kamau, said the Radisson Group brands marketplace in Nigeria provides the platform for Nigerians to understand and embrace the different brands of the group.

 

 

“There are seven distinctive brands in the Radisson Group portfolio providing exceptional hospitality.

 

This marketplace will afford Nigerians a perfect opportunity to get up close to the Radisson Group brands to have a taste of exceptional hospitality,” Kamau stated The host of the Radisson Hotel Group workshop in Nigeria, who is the General Manager, RadissonBlu Hotel GRA Ikeja, Jaco Prinsloo, was impressed by the turnout of clients at the workshop.

 

Prinsloo said “the turnout for this maiden edition of the Radisson Hotel Group Nigeria marketplace is wonderful which speaks volume about the business potentials in Nigeria.” The group’s brands at the event included 11 (Eleven) Radisson brands in South Africa; RadissonBlu Mummy Yoko, Freetown, Sierra Leone; RadissonBlu Nairobi and Park Inn Nairobi, and RadissonBlu Kigali, Rwanda. Others are RadissonBlu Anchorage Lagos; Radisson GRA Ikeja; RadissonBlu Lagos GRA Ikeja; Park Inn Victoria Island and Park Inn Abeokuta

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UNWTO leads initiative on Tourism Financing for the 2030 Agenda at Aid for Trade Conference in Geneva

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Tourism’s unique potential as a tool for driving the global sustainable development agenda has took centre stage at a recent event hosted by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

 

The session, entitled ‘Tourism Financing for the 2030 Agenda,’ was held during the 2019 Global Review of Aid for Trade at the headquarters of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili, at the special event highlighed the key role that tourism sector plays in economic growth and job creation. Ministers, development partners and financing institutions need to better understand and recognise how tourism can contribute to the 2030 Sustainable Agenda.

 

Tourism is explicitly mentioned as a target in three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (8, 12 and 14), though, as speakers at the Geneva session noted, for the sector to really realise its enormous potential, the amount of aid and development financing directed towards tourism needs to be increased significantly. Unlocking tourism’s potential for realising the 2030 agenda requires a combination of effective and robust policy frameworks, enhanced private sector action, and an innovative approach to partnerships for development cooperation.

 

“This is an important time for both the tourism and the international development sectors,” said Pololikashvili. “Strengthening and unlocking aid flows for tourism will help the sector be a driver of job creation, as well as of social and economic development and economic diversity.

 

UNWTO welcomes the opportunity to join ministers, tourism leaders and our partners for these important talks here in Geneva. Working together we can harness the power of the new aid architecture and ensure that nobody gets left behind as tourism transforms lives around the world.”

 

Other participants at the session include: Ms. Arancha González, executive director, International Trade Centre (ITC), H.E Dr. Rania Al- Mashat, Minister of Tourism, The Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Toshiyuki Nakamura, director general, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and Ms. Caroline Freund, director of Trade, Regional Integration and Investment Climate, World Bank.

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TLR International Luxury Conference for 2020

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As part of its business and growth plan, The Luxury Reporter is set to host The Luxury Reporter International Luxury Conference, which is part of the commemoration of its fifth anniversary celebration. ‘‘We believe clocking five years in business is a sign of maturity, a sign that the venture has come to stay. You will agree with me that five years in business means one have a story to tell.

 

It is for this reason we are announcing today the TLR International Luxury Conference, which will be an annual conversation around happenings in the global luxury industry to commemorate our anniversary, disclosed the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of The Luxury Reporter, Mrs. Funke Osae – Brown.

 

She revealed that the conference will attracts senior luxury sector executives, corporate decision-makers and financiers from around Africa and the world including industries such as fashion, luxury retail, jewelry, automobile, yacht, watches, private equity, investment banking, private banking, investment and asset management as well as architecture/construction.

 

Sponsors and partners, she said are expected to take advantage of the one – day conference, which is a veritable platform to align your brand with influential consumers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries through highimpact integrations.

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INITEME ADUKEH:Nigerian tourism is at its prime

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INITEME ADUKEH:Nigerian tourism is at its prime

Background

Initeme  has worked in the hospitality and tourism  market for over decade, with a stint at the Hilton Nigeria before setting up a consultancy firm,  Hospitality Groundworks, a company which specialises in the foundation building of industry business; advisory services; human resources; facilities management and hospitality project management.

She has worked as acting CEO to launch Yourstay, an indigenous online booking platform which serves the European and Sub – Sahara market while her scope runs deeper as she works with new and existing hotels to develop their products through operating service development or through working as a launch consultant to get a new product up and running.

What is your perspective on Nigeria tourism sector?

I would say that we are in our prime, we have started to appreciate the value of what we have. We are exploring more and with the new technological advancements, we are sharing more and showing the world what Nigeria has to offer.

It is a beautiful time and I know it can only go upward from here.

Why should the Nigerian government bother about the tourism sector?

The real question is why should they not bother with tourism? You find that tourism is one of the major driving forces of major countries’ economy. It has been shown to drive economies, boost employment, create community and be a major cause for communal development.

I think it should be how soon could we start paying attention?

Can they execute a good plan for the sector in this new dispensation?

Of course! Let’s start with the most prominent and obvious ones in the lively cities such as Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Abeokuta and then we move on to develop the less known and more tasking ones.

But in specific terms what are some of the areas of focus?

First, the new government should look seriously at enforcing stronger legislation for the preservation and maintenance of our heritage sites. I believe that if we don’t start now to preserve what we have our children and grandchildren will become as lost as our counterparts in the Diaspora.

Essentially, you find that we are already losing a big part of our culture to urbanization.

How can Nigeria take advantage of the digital space for its tourism?

Availability of information should be the first port of call. I think the government has to do better at providing information to the local tourists and most especially to the international tourist markets.

It’s difficult to navigate the tourist scene without a clue of what you are getting yourself into. Furthermore, I would say that changing the narrative through positive marketing of our country’s brand is quite important to the development of the perspective from the foreign community as well as the indigenous people and residents of Nigeria.

Should the government engage consultants in this regard?

Defiantly, I’ve always be a very strong believer in work smarter and not harder. It is important that the government invests in a specialist to compile information that would benefit the academic community and tourists alike.

We will also benefit from the exponential knowledge which comes from being in the industry for a number of years as well as the network or contacts they could tap into to execute a flawless delivery.

How can the Nigerian populace benefit from investment in tourism?

Tourism is the gift that keeps giving. A booming tourism industry gives rise to job creation, revenue for businesses, infrastructural development, cultural exportation to name a few.

These are just for the community, tourism can stimulate the country’s economy to a point of being the sole source of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as seen in countries like Greece, and Barbados.

How can Nigeria take advantage of religious tourism as we have suffuse of religious festivals and events across the country?

I believe that awareness and accessibility are the two factors that can create a big impact for religious tourism. We find people from America, Cuba and a number of diverse nationalities coming to Nigeria for the celebration of the Yoruba religious festivals. Clothed in seas of white attires they flock to the sacred sites to worship with their fellow believers. The government can make their journey easier and more accessible. This promotes jobs, infrastructural revitalisation and preservation of heritage sites among others.

How can Nigeria government get some of the natural wonders in the country enlisted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage List?

‘A wonder’ is not something that can be ‘made’ as you have to work extensively with what you have, develop it, build it, publicise it and people will glorify it and its attributes.

Nigeria is blessed with a number of natural wonders and landscapes, so this should not be too hard to derive.

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Travel and Tourism

Beijing’s new airport is world’s largest with 100 million passengers by 2040

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Beijing’s new airport is world’s largest with 100 million passengers by 2040

The newly completed Beijing Airport (Daxing International Airport), is set to become the world’s largest airport, with a capacity to process 100 million passengers by 2040. The landmass spans1.4 million square metres while the terminal’s territory space is equivalent to 25 football fields.

According to a news report by eturbonews.com, the airport, which is located 46 kilometres south of downtown Beijing, was recently completed and inspected while it is expected to open for business around September.

According to the project manager Li Jianhua, China has invested around $60 billion. The hub has been designed to reduce pressure on the overcrowded Beijing Capital International Airport. It is also set to support China’s intention of becoming the world’s largest civil aviation market by the middle 2020s, according to Xinhua.

The airport is set to serve 72 million passengers and 620,000 flights annually by 2025, and will further increase its capacity to 100 million passengers and 880,000 flights by 2040. It is, therefore, expected to match world’s busiest airport, Atlanta in the US, and will likely surpass it in terms of passenger throughput.

“It is the world’s largest integrated transportation hub. The terminal building is also the world’s largest built with seamless steel structure, boasting the world’s first design of double-deck departure and double-deck arrival platforms,” said the Director of the Beijing Daxing International Airport project command of Beijing Construction Group, Bai Henghong.

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Travel and Tourism

Amachree calls on govt to honour distinguished citizens

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Amachree calls on govt to honour distinguished citizens

Father of Tourism in Nigeria and President, Centre for Promotion of Peace, Tourism, Arts and Culture, Chief Mike Amachree, has called on Nigerian government at all levels to emulate the example of River State Governor Nyesom Wike by honouring Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in different fields of endeavours. Amachree gave this charge in Port Harcourt, Rivers State recently.

According to him, recognition of prominent sons and daughters  of Rivers State who have excelled in the different areas by the state government has contributed immensely to the advancement of the state.

The tourism mogul described the honour done to them as one of many laudable achievements of the present administration.

Amachree, who was a member of the National Vision 2010 Tourism Committee during the General Sanni Abacha-led government, explained that recognising excellence is a motivating force. He urged other state governors, especially Lagos, Plateau, Kano, Enugu, Cross River, Bayelsa, and Osun states, to do the same to those who have played prominent roles in the advancement of their states.

Governor Wike, during the 50 years anniversary celebration of Rivers State bestowed honours on former River State governors, legal luminaries, tourism investors, industrialists and religious leaders, who have contributed to the growth of the state. Amachree described the gesture, as a step in the right direction.

Amachree was honoured with the Distinguished Service Star River State (DSSRS) by the governor during the 50th anniversary celebration. 

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