The President of Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) Hajia Bilkisu Abdul has assured Nasarawa people of the readiness of her association to promote and market the state as a destination, in order to grow the tourist traffic. Hajia Bilkisu Abdul made the pledge when she was hosted recently by the Governor of Nasarawa state, Engr. Abdullahi Sule. The governor had invited her to Lafia to brief her on the plans of the state to host an annual cultural festival in the capital in a few days’ time. He told Hajia Bilkisu that he is impressed with the news he has been reading about her work as NATOP president. He admitted that NATOP was becoming a household name among many government agencies as the new president has reached out to major Nigerian organisations and initiated partnerships with government parastatals as plank to grow tourism and drive investment in the sector.
‘I want to join NATOP so I can drive tourism in my state’, declared the Governor. He invited the president to bring her members from all over the country to enjoy the tourism resources of the state firsthand. He asked her to bring her BOT members and Executives to meet with the Commissioner for Tourism and Culture and to arrange a tour of Nasarawa for NATOP members.
An elated Hajia Bilkisu Abdul while responding said: “Engaging NATOP to help promote Nasarawa state will yield great results both for long and short terms. We shall not disappoint you. My members are capable have the knack for opening up the states to meaningful and sustainable tourism transactions, and we will put on the machinery in motion to turn this state into another low-hanging fruit.’
NATOP has been making waves recently with engagements with the National Park Services that recently hosted its monthly meeting at its head office in Abuja. She was also hosted by the Chairman House Committee on Tourism, Senator Rochas Okorocha at the National Assembly, Abuja and fter the ground-breaking annual general meeting hosted by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, NATOP executives gave time for the memorial of its past president Mrs. Fatima Garbati who died after the Ife AGM. Her memorial was held in August in Lagos. Many activities have been lined up for the end of year for NATOP members including Carnival Calabar, Igue Festival in Benin and now the Nasarawa cultural festival.