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Carnival Calabar hots up •NTDC launches Africa’s biggest cultural hamper •We’ve scored another product development in tourism -Senate President
Few days into the glamour of the Carnival Calabar, different uptrend innovations has continued to emerge to practically attract and entertain visitors and tourists who have already arrived the city for this year’s edition of the biggest street party in Africa.
The carnival fiesta, which has already illuminated Calabar city with different activities and beautiful decorations has also created an economic platform at the Christmas market for petty traders, food and drinks’ vendors, who came from within and outside the state to gain from the money-spinning event.
For the last of the four dry runs of the event organised by the Cross River State carnival committee to prepare the bands (Bayside, Seagull, Masta blasta, Freedom and Passion four bands) for the final competition on Monday, December 27, 2010, an unprecedented product overwhelmed participants at the dry run as the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Chief Olusegun Runsewe, raised the profile of this year’s carnival content with the donation of the biggest culture hamper in Africa.
This move, according to Runsewe, was to add value to what he described as a carnival with a difference, powered by genuine commitment, consistence and people-oriented activities.
“Subsequently, this basket, which has all the cultural content of all the 36 states of the federation and Abuja was a statement that the era of bournvita, sugar in hampers has become a thing of the past. And that our cultural content, which is our strength should be packaged and promoted.
“The hamper concept, which has come to stay, will be a yearly routine and the cultural contents in the basket will be given out to foreigners at every edition of the Calabar Carnival.
“We have watched with a keen interest the demonstration of practical commitment and unique representation in the promotion and development of a product, which has been able to create a rally-point for people to celebrate Christmas in a special way in Calabar, and on the part the corporation, the cultural hamper is to show practical endorsement for the carnival.
“I stand here as the chief marketer of tourism in Nigeria to say Carnival Calabar is the mother of every carnival, we will be having every December period. Just like the Nothingham Carnival, Trinidad and Tobago and the Rio Carnival, they make statements about their country’s culture; we should all support the Calabar Carnival to make it a huge success,” Runsewe added.
While unveiling the event at the Millenium Park, Calabar, the Senate President, Senator David Mark, represented by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, said with the sheer size of the culture hamper, Nigeria has undoubtedly scored another first and unique point in the trend of product development in tourism.
According to Senator Mark, “I am greatly honoured and delighted to be here today, not only to witness but also, to be part of this great annual event.
“Our country has come a long way as a nation in view of our 50 years as a sovereign nation, working together as a people become more imperative to achieve great goals and successes.”
He, however, pointed out that conscious efforts should be made by Nigerians to developing, especially unique products that are capable of bringing into the country tourists from all over the world.
“This carnival stands out as one of the veritable platforms on which we can achieve this purpose. An example is what we are witnessing here today; this unique and biggest culture hamper in Africa, which represents and showcases the 36 states of Nigeria and the FCT.
“With the size of this culture hamper, Nigeria has undoubtedly scored another first in product development in tourism offerings.”
While calling on stakeholders to use the opportunity as a point of reference in the development of products to drive tourism ditto empower their businesses in the tourism industry to promote Nigeria, the senate president commended the NTDC for innovation and also the Cross River State government for sustaining the yearly carnival, which he said has stood out as a pride to Nigeria.
“I will like to commend the NTDC, under the leadership of Chief Olusegun Runsewe, who has been introducing innovative tourism products, including the biggest cultural hamper we are all here to witness today.”Share