By Paul Ukpabio
The lack of interest in support and development of tourism in the country surfaced again, when dignitaries, and other participants ready for NATOP 2023 Annual General Meeting in Ekiti State, arrived the state, only to find out that the government of Ekiti State had pulled out of the celebration and part hosting, days to the event!
But like they say in Showbiz, the tourism body, took a positive stand, and declared that the show must go on, with or without the government!
NATOP which is also known as Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, rolled out the drums in Ado-Ekiti, to the delight of hundreds of guests that flooded Ekiti State to celebrate.
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The Lagos contingent arrived Ado-Ekiti in three 30-seater fully-loaded buses. And other contingents in other numbers arrived from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Osun, Delta and Akwa Ibom states and other states too.
It has been a show of the will power of private initiative and of the private sector.
And Afe Babalola University Inn located in Ado Ekiti benefited from it all, throwing open their doors to welcome the huge number of guests with accommodation and so on.
So also, Bimbo Owolabi Hall of the Afe Babalola University, took over the spotlight for grand hosting of main events, instead of the government’s trade fair Complex.
According to the National President of NATOP, Mrs Ime Udo, the theme of the AGM ; ‘Tourism Green Investments in Nigeria’ and the summit itself, provides platform for the honouring of some distinguished persons and ofcourse the AGM itself, which gives opportunity for “lively discussions and productive dialogues that could shape the future of tourism industry in Ekiti State and in Nigeria as a whole.”