The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Hotels Management and Tourism Board, Mr. Ini Akpabio has scored Gov Udom Emmanuel high on investments in critical sectors that supports the growth of hospitality and tourism sectors in the state.
Akpabio who also doubles as Chairman, Akwa Ibom Hospitality Monitoring Team (AKHMT), said that the opening up of the major gateways and influx of investors is a great potential to turn the tourism fortunes of the state around.
Mr. Ini Akpabio made this known on Monday during a radio programme, Akwa Ibom Arising on Inspiration FM 105.9 Uyo hosted by Aniekeme Finbarr.
He noted that hotels who fail to adhere to guidelines issued by the state will be sanctioned, adding that his team is fully alive to its task of ensuring strict compliance to the COVID-19 guidelines for the hospitality sector.
The AKHMT Boss decried the lackluster attitude of few hotel clients and operators who bluntly refuse to adhere to the new guidelines and however appreciated the level of cooperation by a greater number of hotel operators in compliance with the nine-point guidelines.
He explained that adequate guidelines have been issued to hotel operators as part of measures taken to prevent the spread of corona virus within hotels and other tourist centres in Akwa Ibom State.
Stating that the monitoring team is specifically concerned about the compulsory use of face masks, provision of water and hand sanitizers for personal hygiene and a limited number of people in hotel facilities to maintain social and physical distancing, Akpabio stressed that the guidelines also restrict night clubs and regulates the number of persons at lounges to maintain physical distancing.
He called on foreign and local investors to invest in hotel business in Akwa Ibom State, saying that the available rooms in major hotels in the State cannot accommodate guests if a major event or conference is hosted in the state.
Also on the programme, the Acting Manager, Ibom Hotels and Golf Resort, Mr. Brian Efa said Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort has maintained hundred percent of the guidelines to be sure that people who patronize the hotel remain safe from corona virus.
He noted that the hotel has ensured proper checks on staff entry and provided free face masks to all clients visiting the hotel, adding that only limited number of people are permitted in the hotel at a time.
He said that the staff of Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort are dressed in complete PPAs to protect themselves from physical contact with guests while a room is being fumigated before another guest is allowed in.