…Gives Reasons For Choice Of AGM Venue
…As Plateau Assures Association Of Support
The President of Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) Nkereuwem Onung has promised to deliver a new more professional association at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) slated for April 9, 2018.
The promise came in a mail he shared the with members.
He stated that NATOP had been in transition for years and has grown from 15 professional tour operators registered by the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in 2011, when other travel associations had over 2,000 registered members to a National association that is reckoned with by Nigerians and a thing of envy to others with its growing profile in matters of Tourism in Nigeria.
He added that because of the rising profile and the quality of the tourism experts found in NATOP its members are now sought after by industry players.
“Let me use this medium to appreciate all members of NATOP especially the present EXCO for their solidarity and steadfastness that has been exhibited in the past years. It has been a long journey. We picked up an association at a fragile stage with very few members and little visibility and have seen it grow into limelight and prominence to the extent that other associations feel threatened by it. We are thankful to Otunba Segun Runsewe D.G NCAC, then D.G NTDC who in 2011 officially registered tour operators as professional tourism practitioners in Nigeria” Onung’s mail reads in part.
It continued, “We have witnessed desperate efforts by some individuals who are not tour operators and some outside forces attempting to scuttle/ disrupt and hijack the association and crash it. Thanks to a few dedicated members of the association, who stood firm, supported and funded the association up until now. I appreciate them. Let me state here that; this is the first time government will be hosting our AGM with commitment. This should be commended. Plateau State Government, in an attempt to refresh and highlight “Destination Plateau”, has accepted to host tour operators from 7th- 9th of April, 2018. “
NATOP, he said has agreed to partner with the government to help grow another tourism destination in Nigeria, thereby promoting domestic tourism, adding that NATOP is a national association and as such its AGM should be rotated across the country.
He said in the mail that the Jos August gathering would be his last AGM as the President of the association.
The outgoing President advised members to take advantage of the event and promote tourism in Plateau State.
Abuja, he said is Nigeria’s federal capital and that as such NATOP should have a strong presence there, adding that the association has taken the initiative to establish a chapter in Abuja.
The NATOP boss pointed out that it is the duty of the executive to propel the association, adding that Warri/Port Harcourt and the South East are the next in line for inauguration.
Meanwhile, the President said that the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism For Plateau , Mrs Tamwakat Weli, has reached out to NATOP in support of the AGM.
“There is a need for professional Tour Operators to visit Plateau to see for themselves the rich asset we possess and that is why we seek to partner with NATOP. We as a state have been looking for partners to promote and position ourselves and we are delighted that the Professionals are coming. It is our hope that they will enjoy themselves and go home as Ambassadors of Plateau Tourism,” she was quoted to have said in her message to NATOP
“The leading tourism association in Nigeria; The Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) is holding its first AGM in the Northern part of Nigeria for the first time at Jos. The last AGM was held in Lagos and in Calabar the year before. So, Plateau has the right as the first event outside the South of Nigeria,” she added.
Onung explained that the association chose Jos to reinforce the fact that Plateau is safe for tourism and that NATOP needs to discover and expose new locations to tour professionals.
According to him, “Nigeria is blessed and Plateau is so Rich in Tourism that we should start repositioning Plateau as a way of growing Tourism in Nigeria”.
On his part, the Special Adviser to Governor on Tourism Mr. John Likita Best described NATOP as a forward looking association that came at the right time to support the efforts of the government and people of the state.
The 2018 AGM is an elective AGM and comes after a very successful year, where it successfully hosted a World Tourism Day boat cruise on the Lagos Lagoon and a tour of Epe in Lagos.
As part of the 2018 AGM there will be a One day tour of plateau on April 8, before the AGM on the 9th at Hill Station Hotel.