Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) on the occasion of celebration of this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD), with the theme, Tourism and Green Investment, hosted by the Akwa Ibom State government, in collaboration of the federation, rolled out the red carpet and drums to celebrate and honour some notable individuals for their contributions to the development and promotion of tourism.
Those honoured with FTAN’s Icon Awards include the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pastor Umo Eno, President of Nigeria Hotels Associations (NHA), Eze (Dr.) Igwe Patrick Anyanwu and the President of Association of Tourist Boat Operators and water Transporters Association (ATBOWATON), Dr. Ganiyu Balogun Tarzan.
Speaking at the awards night, President of FTAN, Nkereuwem Onung, disclosed that the rationale behind its awards to selected individuals in the society, is as due to the need to recognise the body of commitment and efforts put in over the years by the recipients. He explained that the recipients of the honour have lifted the sector through personal efforts committed to the growth and development of the industry.
According to him, ‘‘FTAN does not just give awards for the sake of giving awards but instead recognises private sector operators or other individuals who have committed their time, efforts and personal financial resources to lifting the industry. “We do so to people for their steadfastness and commitment to the task or occupation they have endeared themselves to towards establishing the industry as we all know today.
Without their commitment, most of us would not be here benefiting from the industry as a whole. “That is what we do. You may not know them but the people who knew them from whence they started working and struggling for the industry will attest to the fact that they indeed laboured to grow and develop this industry as we see it today.
“You may not know the story behind their rise to stardom but every time we honour these people, it is for daring to succeed; every time we honour them, we tap into their successes, because every time you honour a man, you also tap into his success story. “We also ensure that when that honour comes, it is based on their efforts, commitment and struggle towards growing the industry.
We honour peo- ple who have committed their time, money, and efforts to the industry over the many years of service put in. It is for the body of work put in to grow their businesses, in particular, and the industry as a whole. “That is the reason we honour peo- ple. We give awards not just for giving sake.
The recipients may look ordinary to an average person watching, but for those in the industry, we know how much of their personal resources, efforts ad time have been spent struggling to firmly establish their personal businesses or the tourism industry.