By Francis Ogwo
With global scare of the second wave of the novel coronavirus pandemic posing as a threat to travels especially to America and Europe, efforts have been made to boost the attractiveness of local destinations to tourists.
It was in this premise that tour operators led by foremost tourism expert, Ikechi Uko, led a delegation of tourism journalists and operators on a fact finding mission to tourism destinations in the county with the Obudu Mountain resort Calabar as first port of call.
The Special Adviser to Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade, on Obudu Mountain Resort, Mr. Bobby Ekpenyong, while receiving the delegation of tour operators under the Naija7 Wonders platform recently, said a lot of activities have been lined up to entertain the expected visitors.
“For the Christmas weekend there will many entertainment packages lined up including the daily bonfire dances, waterpark parties and musical acts.”
Speaking further, Ekpeyong said popular comedian, Gordons, will be performing at the Ranch on Christmas Eve.
“We have worked hard and restored almost everything at the Ranch. The Cable Car is working again, the Rooms are all receiving a touch up, the amenities getting attention. We are a work in progress taking lessons from the criticism and identified tags.”
Before last December, the Resort had been shut amidst management issues but since his appointment, Mr. Ekpenyong had engaged the staff and nearby villagers to help restore Nigeria’s leading attraction back to life. Obudu is the number one tourist attraction in Nigeria, one of the 7 wonders of Nigeria, its appeals has never lessened even when it was shut down.
Recall that the Resort, built in 1952, served as a ranch but was rebuilt as a resort by former Governor, Dr. Donald Duke.
Duke added new Mountain Villas and the Cable Car. Obudu Mountain reception is at 1580 metres high while the Presidential Lodge and the Famous Angel’s View is at 2500 Metres. There is a canopy walkway, a grotto, many waterfalls, waterpark and the Holy Mountains. “Obudu is Ready for the Tourists,” says the Special Adviser.
The Federal Government has been working alongside tourism promoters and stakeholders towards promoting inbound tourism despite the security scare in some parts of the country which has, to a large extend, hampered the revenue from the tourism sector in Nigeria.