By: Achiane Adams, CRS - MOI Officer reporting from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development

A one-day tourism Stakeholders interactive meeting has held in Calabar at the Main Bowl of the Cultural Centre Complex, with Standards and Licensing being the focal point to ensuring that key tourism international best parctises are met in the State.

The meeting which was convened  by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development, served as a platform for the Cross River State Tourism Bureau, to sensitize and re-orientate tourism Service Providers on Standards and Licensing.

In his welcome speech, the State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development, Mr. Eric Anderson, said that the role of Standards and Licensing in the selling of any tourism product, can not be over emphasized as it makes marketing easier.

"In the State, we have events all year round and people get to come in for business and leisure, but are we satisfied with the level of services rendered? Services have to be up to standard for the purpose of repeat visits and referrals. This and other issues are things we should be able to discuss in order to improve on our service delivery,"Mr.Anderson declared.

The Commissioner assured participants that the meeting was not targeted at putting pressure on a particular section of the industry but intended to help Stakeholders see the need for Standard & L.iencing.

He pledged the State  government's continuous support to Stakeholders through regular interactions and solicited  for support from the stakeholders.

Earlier, the General Manager, Marketing, Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr. Charles Omoregha, said the meeting was a conscious effort by the Bureau to make the process of Standards & Liciencing hassle free.

Giving a detailed presentation on Standards & Licencing, the General Manager, Standards and Licensing, Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr. Emmanuel Ekpe, in the simplest of terms brought to light Standard & Liciencing in its entirety.

Mr. Ekpe spoke on the legality of Tourism Licencing, criteria and processes for licencing, cost implications, penalties for regulation defaulters, amongst others.

After the Questions and Answers segment of the meeting, the Manager, Corporate Services, Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr. Takon Eche, gave the vote of thanks and expressed optimism that both the Government and Stakeholders, would take the right steps in ensuring that  tourism flourishes for the benefit of all concerned.

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