Few days to handing over to the governor-elect,professor Ben Ayade, the governor Liyel Imoke has said that his government had done everything to boost tourism in the state in the last eight years of his administration.
He stated this yesterday while unveiling the 5000 multi-purpose Calabar International Conference Center (CICC) built by his gov- ernment to encourage the patronage of Tinapa Business Resort.
The Governor said the Center was designed to increase business activities at the Tinapa Business Resort and to connect the resort to the Calabar city center through a Monorail.
“With the monorail linking the CICC and Tinapa, tourists can connect Tinapa through the convention center and this will boost business and tourism” he said.
The Governor pointed out that his government tried to creat additional facilities for Calabar carnival, “We are trying to create additions to the Calabar Carnival as a means of making tourism the mainstay of our economy” and hoped that with the near-completion of the conference center, activities at the Tinapa Resort would increase, saying the center will make tinapa accessible from the city center.
On his part, the Special Adviser on Events Management, Mr. Nzan Ugbe, said the multipurpose CICC has reached 90 per cent completion, adding that some of the coaches for the monorail have already arrived disclosing that 20 international conference proposal have been received, adding that 12 have been approval pending the final completion of the center.
“I can tell you that even before we finished the center, people have started booking from across Africa and Europe, he said. He further said that measures have been put in place to ensure proper and continued maintenance of the center after the contractors have handed over in August. According to him, the center would host the May 29th handover ceremony to the incoming administration in the State.
The project manager of Courtney Michael Partnerships, Mr. Reginald London, the Firm handling the center, said it was de- signed for ultimate flexibility.
Longdon added that the center was inter-connected with audio visual systems in all the halls and a press gallery including VIP rooms.
“You can have a meeting of up to 5000 people all over the building in different rooms/halls with the audio visual. We have facilities here that cannot be found anywhere in the World” he stated. He however, said that frequent rainfall was one of the challenges the company faced during the construction of the center.