By Victor Essang &Edidiong Obot
The need to develop tourism potentials in the state, package and show case them as a brand to the world has been stressed.
The need was stressed by Akwa Ibom people over the weekend during a media show and unveiling of Uyo Fashion Week Magazine which took place in Uyo.
The chief operating officer of Ibom Air, Mr George Uriesicommended the progenitor of Uyo Fashion Week 2022, Mrs Mae Edmond for coming up with such initiative which has showcased Akwa Ibom state to the world
Uriesi said “the best any place can do is to become a visiting destination for people”
“This Uyo fashion must become Nigeria’s Fashion show soon,it has to bring thousands of people to Uyo every year as well as a calendar event in the country then Africa. A foundation has been laid, the state is safe in a relatively unsafe country with far better infrastructures. All we need to do is to attract more people to the state, Uriesi said.
While pledging his support to the initiative, the Ibom Air boss who called on all to join suit, said, “Akwa Ibom must cease this phase and do the best in this country from the state, and thanked the team for doing a wonderful job.
The chief protocol to the governor, Mr Edmond Ufang, said the initiative “is just the way forward, the future of Akwa Ibom, is simple and direct. This is where Akwa needs to go to, and another level in promoting tourism through Uyo Fashion Week”
The General Manager (GM), Akwa Ibom Newspaper corporation, Me Umoette Umoette described the programme as fantastic, saying “this is a brand that needs to be sustained. It is a brand that will compete with international brand outside the country like France among others. We have to keep faith with the Proprietress, even the private sectors should come together and support this lofty dream. Is a brand that will make Akwa Ibom stand out from other states in the country added to what the governor has done already. We need everyone to just key into the programme and make it a success.
On her part, the Special Assistant to the governor on Entrepreneurial development, Mrs Meflyn Anwana said Uyo Fashion Week Is a welcome and amazing innovation that will scale up tourism, commercialize creativity, scale innovation, seeing that we have lots of young people and entrepreneurs doing what they are doing in the fashion industry big time with their energy.
“I think is a global brand, it’s a brand that will convene not just together artistry but also commerce in the largest scale of what we are seeing. We define this culture and reframe the system at large”, she said
The convener of Uyo Fashion Week, Mrs Mae Edmond said the event was organised to enable them honour the team members who contributed to the successful hosting of Uyo Fashion Week that took place on April 2022.
The Proprietress of Uyo Fashion Week who described Akwa Ibom as a state with creativity, said the state has a tourism-compliant outlook that need to be packaged and put on the map of the world as brand for sale.
While describing Akwa Ibom as a destination, Edmond appreciated governor Udom Emmanuel for the infrastructural development of the state and putting in place the necessary resources like a secured and enabling environment that has packaged us as a brand.
She stressed the need to develop the tourist attractions in the state to attract traffick to the state in such that during holidays, people should be thinking of coming into Akwa Ibom and Uyo.
“We have a brand, heritage and culture, we need to develop these places and recreate them as vibrant places where people can come into the state and long to visit. Let us put them together and sell as a brand”, she said
Uyo Fashion Week, she said was one of the initiative put together to sell the state to the world through the showcasing of our brands.
She used the occasion to announce the season 2 of Uyo Fashion Week which she said will come up from May 1-7, 2023, featuring classes, workshop and wrap up with amazing fashion show.
Season 2 of the fashion week, according to her “will come in a different dimension which is why we have published a magazine”
She sought partnership with hotels, banks, Ibom Air and restaurants to prepare for season 2 to turning it into a tourism package.
“I appeal we start early enough so that people can put same in their plans where next they visit the state. I believe that what we have started now, we are on the right track and with God helping us, we will attend our dreams and beyond.
“We need to look inward and showcase what we have as a people which will be able to show us on the map”, she said.
The convener of Uyo Fashion Week said they were able to succeed in season 1 with the cooperation of the little team she described as amazing and wonderful, adding that the evening was to enable them appreciate the team thank you.
Highpoint of the event was the unveiling of Uyo Fashion Week magazine by the representative of the Deputy governor, Mrs Adaku Ekpo, cuting of cake and presentation of gifts items to the top winners of Uyo Fashion Week 2022.