All roads by land, sea and air lead to Ile-Ife, the cultural capital of Osun state for the much anticipated 2019 annual general meeting (AGM), of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), to be hosted by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi at the Ife Grand Resorts and Leisure on May 24, 2019.
The NATOP meeting with the theme: “Impact of Culture, Partnerships and Governance on Nigeria Tourism Development”, will feature a four day program to include a tour of Osun state, its sacred sites and the palace of the Ooni from May 23, while the AGM conference and meeting will hold on May 24. The national president NATOP, Hajia Bilkisu Abdul said the program is very key and targeted at exploring south western Nigeria, spotlighting Ife as a cultural and religious destination to both domestic and international tourists.
The president who commended the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi for his kind gesture to host this year’s AGM, hinted that the director general, Nigerian Council of Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and his counterpart at the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Mr. Folarin Coker have confirmed to attend the AGM in Osun State.
She said other special guests such as the Hon. Commissioner for Tourism Osun State, Presidents of associations, tourism expert Ambassador Ikechi Uko have been invited to this year’s AGM in Osun. General Manager, Ife Grand Resorts, Habib Reuben, in a statement said, “Ife awaits tour operators who will help position our unique product and rich culture which is very dear to the Kabiyesi’s heart and help redefine weekend travel culture for Nigerians and International tourists”.
This is coming after the president of the association Hajia Bilikisu Abdul led executive members of NATOP on a courtesy visit to the palace of the Ooni in March. The Ooni of Ife thanked the association and promised to showcase the huge tourism assets of Ife, the source of Yoruba civilisation during the AGM.
According to the president of NATOP Hajia Bilikisu “As a National Association we use our AGM to expose our members to the huge tourism potentials and resources available in Nigeria.” The 2018 edition of NATOP meeting was hosted in Jos by the Plateau State government. The 2017 AGM was held in Lagos and was attended by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed while the 2016 edition was held in Calabar, Cross River State in the South-South Region of Nigeria. NATOP is an association for tour operators involved in both outbound and inbound tourism business in the country.