The Governor of Cross River State, Bassey Otu, unveiled the theme for the 2023 Calabar Carnival and Festival at this year’s Akwaaba African Travel Market (AfTM) Exhibition event as he flagged off the opening ceremony of the three day event on September 3.
The Governor announced the theme of the Carnival scheduled to hold from the 26th to the 30th of December, 2023 as “The Season Of Sweetness”.
The Carnival which has been a consistent occurrence is one of the nation’s top tourist attractions and has been a strong partner with the Akwaaba Travel Market, has been a main attraction for traffic in tourism and events in the nation as well as foreign investors.
Esen Eta Archibong, Head of Information and Communication unit of the Calabar Carnival Commission stated that the aim of the carnival is to draw more attention to and promote tourism within Nigeria and help elevate the nation as a world giant.
“The Carnival Calabar, which is a tourism component in our space, is one of the things that has helped in elevating the economic status of Cross River.
It brought the likes of Dangote to build the flower mill and investors like Transcorp to set up the Metropolitan Hotel, the biggest hotel in Calabar.
“The carnival brought about the expansion of some of our tourist assets. The carnival itself is our economic booster. Working with the likes of Akwaaba has economic prospects for when people come to the carnival.
“The festival brings everything about Cross River to display. So when you come for the festival to participate in the carnival that takes place at the end of the festival, you will have a clue of investment opportunities and the climate around our manufacturing and our natural resources.
“It promotes everything about Cross River, from the moment you are welcomed into the state, to the hotels you will stay in and the streets you move through.
“We are helping tour operators build tour packages. And another thing is Cross River is known for our famous Obudu Ranch where you can enjoy the nature of life; where you can kiss the clouds.”
According to Mr. Archibong the state plans on expanding it’s tourism sector by investing more into its other tourist attractions, to not only attract more revenue but also improve the way of life of the people in the nation.
“For those of us in the tourism sector, we say tourism is life. When you mention the word tour, you’re talking about life itself.
“Every country works towards a better future so tourism is one of the platforms to which any country, not just Calabar will sustain its economic potential. We see tourism as life and as a future, for us in Cross River, we put carnival and tourism, which is our best foot forward, to build all that we’ve achieved as a state. And we continue to promote that because that is how we can easily achieve what we want to achieve.”