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Nigeria Flashback on Events

10th Ecotourism Symposium in Calabar
November 2006

This Symposium was especially unique because it ushered Nigeria onto the international stage of leisure travel and tourism industry as an emerging destination with profound cultural, eco-tourism, adventure credentials, that have been honed with thriving domestic market tourism.

With the advent of direct and scheduled flights from the U.S. to Nigeria, a select number of Nigerian leisure destinations are being opened for the international tourist market.  Calabar on the Atlantic Coast is a major one, its advanced tourist infrastructure and diversity of leisure options, including the major resort Tinapa being completed for a March 2007 opening, will serve as an ideal entry by Nigeria to the international travel market.  

At the announcement news conference in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, Mr. Bergman, Executive Director of Africa Travel Association stated "Nigeria's entry onto the main stage of African tourism will serve as an important addition to Africa's trademark-safari offerings on Africa's East Coast and the Southern areas. This Symposium was designed to introduce Africa's culturally rich West Coast - the Atlantic Coast- to the American travel industry and traveling public," and added "President Obasanjo directive to bring Nigerian tourism industry on par with the other world class leisure destinations gives this Symposium a very special market component."

What the symposium was all about

Africa's tourism is UP and growing faster than all other leisure and adventure destinations. This Symposium offered the best opportunity to find out what makes it so, and meet Africa's principal government and industry travel and tourism professionals one-on-one, and face-to-face&emdash;unique networking experience.

Travel Professionals to update their business and Africa sales know-how.

Sports and Adventure Travel Specialists&emdash;for development of new travel package opportunities and products.

Environmentalist and Conservationist Travel Operators and Agencies to ascertain the state of natural habitat and review Nigeria's and all of Africa's endangered species' list, plus get the most recent developments and interaction with the petroleum industry and the Niger Delta.

Naturalist, Botanist, Birder Travel and Tour Specialists&emdash;to experience and oversee the Drill sanctuaries for rehabilitation of low land gorillas and monkeys, plus survey the fauna and flora of West Africa and Nigeria

Cultural, Historical and Heritage Travel&emdash; focus on Calabar's 2000 year history, with monoliths dating from 200 BC.  Become conversant with Africa's diverse cultural heritage that now extends to the Caribbean, the Americas and Asia.

Banking and Investment Representatives to be exposed and start their due diligence of investing in Africa's and Nigerian tourism development

African Diaspora and Nigerian Émigré Community&emdash;come to interact and become part of Nigeria's and Africa's  economic engine for development and business advancement.


The Abuja Carnival, directly following the Symposium, 23-26 November. Abuja is the capital of Nigeria and this Carnival is a very proud presentation of Nigerian cultural heritage and presents representative groups from all parts of Nigeria in an awesome display of pageantry and great national pride.  The highlight is the famous Durbar, one of the most exciting equestrian shows anywhere.

Cameroon is "next door" to Calabar, and a familiarization tour is being planned that will include all the cultural richness of  this incredibly diverse destination. Cameroon is both, French and English speaking country, with magnificent seacoast and the world famous Mt Cameroon, where the mountain climbing marathons take place.

Nigeria with her full variety of international level attractions will also be offered in several; short (4 day) and longer (7-10 day) tours.

Calabar&emdash;Cross River State will proudly present its eco-tourism highlights with the State's National  Parks, wildlife and more.


Calabar and the Symposium itself will feature a full array of shopping opportunities.  An African Village Marketplace is being planned for the delegates to make shopping convenient.  We should remind the delegates that many, actually most of the merchants do not accept credit cards&emdash;so plan ahead!!!