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Nigeria To Revive Dormant Festivals, Traditional Games

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dormant festivals

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by Nigeria and the British Council so at to revive some festivals in the country with a view to making them world class.

The agreement was sealed on Wednesday in Edinburgh, Scotland by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Sir Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of the British Council.

The Council, as part of the deal, is expected to help train festival managers, revive the country’s major festivals and prevent its traditional games from dying.

Mr Mohammed, who is at the ongoing 2016 Edinburgh International Festival Summit, described the MoU as the height of the “spirit of cooperation that has taken us thus far”, saying however that it must put more emphasis on substance rather than form

He said, “We need to have a work plan that will enable us to measure achievement year by year,” adding that “an MoU that does not achieve visible results is not worth its while.”

The Minister said the challenge facing the sector is how to ensure that it transits from creative industry to creative economy.

According to him, Nigeria is interested in capacity building for festival managers with a view to changing its festivals from mere fun events to business.

He said Nigeria is particularly keen to revive such grand festivals as the Durbar and Argungun, which have not been held for some years, as well as to prevent such traditional games like ‘ayo’ from dying, because of their importance in teaching sportsmanship and promoting tolerance.

In his comments, Sir Ciaran expressed his delight at the partnership between the Ministry and the British Council.

He expressed the hope that the MoU will allow both parties to translate their intent into action

“The British Council is delighted to assist in any way we can” to take the partnership further, Sir Ciaran said.

Apart from the British Council, the Ministry also plans to sign a similar cooperation agreement with the Tony Elumelu Foundation.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Travel/Tourism

Nigeria Re-Elected to ICAO Council for 15th Time

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria has been re-elected as a Part-II member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council for a new three-year term.

This was disclosed by Mr James Odaudu, the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, in a statement on Sunday, saying Nigeria garnered 149 votes to be elected to the ICAO council for the 15th consecutive time.

The re-election, he said, took place at the plenary session of the ongoing 41st General Assembly of the organisation in Montreal, Canada.

In his reaction, the Minister of Aviation said the increased number of countries that supported Nigeria showed its rising profile amongst member nations.

Mr Sirika, who is the leader of the Nigerian delegation at the Assembly, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support to the aviation sector, which he said has translated into the numerous achievements being celebrated by the global aviation community.

The Minister described the election as the icing on the birthday cake for Nigeria, having taken place on its Independence Anniversary day.

Also speaking on the re-election of Nigeria into Part 2 of the ICAO Council, the Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador Adeyinka Asekun, congratulated Sirika and all those whose contributions resulted in the achievement.

He said it was a thing of pride for him as an individual and the High Commissioner to be part of the double celebration for the nation, the election, and the Independence Anniversary happening on the same day.

As part of the celebrations of the country’s Independence, the Nigerian Mission, led by the Minister, hosted delegates from all the countries at the Assembly for a reception.

ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano recognised nine states’ significant progress in improving safety and security oversight systems by awarding them with Council President Certificates.

The President of the Council also took the opportunity to acknowledge Nigeria’s exceptional level of effective implementation of ICAO safety and security standards, one of the highest in the world, reflecting the organization’s “No Country Left Behind” initiative, with the ICAO support provided to States for the implementation of ICAO policies, global plans and SARPs.

ICAO is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).

Its core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy (the ICAO Secretariat) supporting these diplomatic interactions and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly or by the ICAO Council, which the assembly elects.

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Quickteller Delves into Transport Business for Better Travel Booking Experience

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Quickteller Transport travel booking experience

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The desire to make life easier for people has made Quickteller venture into the transport business, designing innovative services to enrich the travel booking experience.

The company has launched Quickteller Transport to allow users to easily search and book inter-state trips from multiple travel operators across Nigeria.

Quickteller Transport is embedded as a service on Quickteller Web and Mobile app and is available for use by both new and existing Quickteller customers.

Users will also be able to filter their search to specific or preferred operators and compare fares based on vehicle type, departure point and time, and specialised access functions provided by transport operators, including seat selection and preferred pick-up location option, all at their convenience.

According to the consumer digital lifestyle and payments platform powered by Interswitch, Quickteller Transport was created in line with its mission to develop technology solutions that connect and empower individuals, businesses, and communities across Africa.

The Quickteller Transport Service is another step in the company’s continued commitment to providing its customers with convenient access to lifestyle and payment services, the Managing Director of Interswitch Industry Ecosystems Division, Ms Chinyere Don-Okhuofu, stated.

“Transportation is a necessary aspect of human life, enabling social and economic interactions. In keeping with our culture of driving innovation and positively impacting consumer lifestyle in society, we developed our Quickteller Transport service to provide added travel booking and payment convenience to our over 5 million customers.

“Built as a multimodal offering, we will be rolling it out to include other travel and transportation modes such as trains and ferries, working with operators across Nigeria.

“We are ecstatic to be launching this service. And as we launch our suite of new complementary services, Quickteller customers can be assured of our commitment to providing an excellent experience using Quickteller to access all their lifestyle and payment needs,” Ms Don-Okhuofu added.

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10 Ways to Make Sure Your Holiday Rental Stands Out

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Anyone who owns a holiday home or flat would love to have it fully booked all through the year. With travelling abroad still seen as risky, many Nigerians will be holidaying locally during the coming holidays instead of going overseas. How do you make your vacation rental stand out so that people notice it when they’re booking online? And once they’ve stayed there, they’ll love it so much they’ll definitely recommend it to others?

Ideally, you’ll want your holiday rental to grab attention but also look like a welcoming space where people can relax and enjoy being together. You want every aspect of their stay there to ooze memories and good times.

First impressions count

The front of your holiday house is the first thing guests will see when they arrive, so it’s integral to making a great impression. A pretty welcome sign, the name of your holiday home or painting the front door a cheerful colour will all give an instant holiday vibe. Planting flowers, or having them in pots, at the front door will also create a welcoming feel.

A warm welcome

Have a welcome pack with a small selection of treats and visitor information waiting for guests upon their arrival. They’ll love it, and will remember it in their recommendations of your property to others. Fresh bread and milk in the fridge for the first night’s stay will be so appreciated, as will little touches like dog snacks for pet-friendly homes and mini-toiletries in the bathroom.

Create a guide with expert tips on your area – great coffee spots, bakeries and delis, must-try restaurants and wine bars, shopping hotspots and touristy must-sees. A handy list of close by supermarkets, doctors and pharmacies will be convenient, too. Try an online design programme like Canva to put your guide together and make it look professional.

Nobody wants ordinary

When you’re decorating a space for holiday guests, it’s tempting to tone it down so that the décor will appeal to all, but remember that people want wow. Guests want a space that feels like a home from home, but they’re also paying for an experience. Colour, beautiful art, a stand-out furniture piece, deep-pile rugs in the bedroom or a luxe addition like a log fireplace or a jacuzzi will be memorable (and romantic!). If your home is surrounded by beautiful scenery, invest in floor-length glass windows or doors for views that will really sell your holiday home. Never fall into the trap of choosing cheap décor items, or worse still, decorating a space with the things you don’t want at home. Old, cheap and boring are to be avoided at all costs. When people walk into your holiday rental they want to find the equivalent, or better, than what they have at home.

What guests want

Evaluate every part of your holiday space and think about what you can do to make your guests’ experience memorable. The living room must have a cosy place where they can relax and read a book or watch a movie and, if possible, a smart TV. In the kitchen, make sure there’s everything that guests need to be able to self-cater easily. If you can, add in luxe touches such as an espresso machine or a smoothie maker. It’s things like this people will tell their friends about.

Superior service

Holidaymakers want to relax and spend their time making fun memories, so make sure they get the time to do that at your rental by providing a cleaning service. Ad hoc bookings may mean you don’t need a regular service, so opt for one like SweepSouth, a handy on-demand home service that allows you to book reliable, trustworthy cleaners when you need them. Gardeners to spruce up your outside area and even handymen to fix niggles can be booked on their Connect app, too.

Create a photo-worthy backdrop

People love taking photos of themselves in a beautiful holiday setting and sharing them with those back home. Create an appealing photo-worthy scene in one of the main living spaces. It can be a stylish area with smart wallpaper and an ornamental mirror, a serene space in the garden or a quirky corner at the entrance featuring something that resonates with the location you’re in, like a local artwork or an attractive grouping of photos of local landmarks.

A bedroom sanctuary

Spending time and effort on making your master bedroom into a tranquil sanctuary is well worth it. You want a guest to feel pampered the moment they walk in and see plush pillows and plump quilts on a big, comfy bed that promises a fantastic night’s sleep. Buy the best mattress you can afford, and provide soft-to-the-touch quality linen and bedding. Make this haven of relaxation that much more luxurious with air-conditioning, block-out curtains or blinds, soft rugs and laundry hampers. Think about your guests’ expectations and exceed them.

Light it right

Done right, lighting can add so much to the feel of a room. Fabulous lamps or wall sconces in the bedroom, charming pendants in the kitchen and a large standing lamp in the sitting room will add real presence.

Outdoor delight

If you have an outdoor space, make it an oasis for guests to spend time in. Even small areas can be made delightful with the addition of water features, hammocks, daybeds and canopies. If you can care for it, plant a vegetable or herb patch that guests can help themselves to.

Photo Perfect

Lastly, get great photos of your rental. When people scroll through listings on holiday accommodation sites, think about what your photos will look like and whether they’ll catch the eye of a holidaymaker, resulting in more bookings. It’s worth getting a professional in to take the shots when you first list.

The above pointers may require some spending, but they’re all features you can highlight when advertising your rental and are therefore worthwhile investments.

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