As part of deliberate efforts to improve on the organisation and revenue generation for Calabar Carnival popularly known as the Africa’s Biggest Street Party, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has sent a contingent comprising leadership of the five competing bands to fully as well other other stakeholders to participate in the 2018 edition of the Rio Carnival in Brazil.
The contingent which is led by the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development,Hon Eric Anderson, also has the Chairman, State’s Event Management and Carnival Commision are already in Rio,in preparation for the annual event.
This is the first time Cross River State will be participating in the World’s Biggest Street Party which serves as a major revenue earning to the government of Brazil.
Governor Ben Ayade had during the 2017 Carnival Calabar promised to strengthen, and renerhise the annual event from it’s Organisation, Coordination and revenue generation in a bid to making the carnival a competing product in Cross River Tourism Calendar with introduction of new ideas for optimal revenue generation.
Speaking to news men at Galeo International Airport Rio, Brazil, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Eric Anderson said,the team is excited to be part of the world carnival Event, adding that the state came to understudy what the Brazilians are doing differently.
He said the delegation from Cross River came to understudy how Rio Carnival became the world best in terms of organisation, crowd control, Logistics and most importantly,revennue generation.
In his words, “We are excited to be part of the Rio Carnival in 2018 because it is the biggest in the world and as a Tourism state in Nogeria that takes carnival as it’s flagship event, we are going to learn from the world best to put up a better event for Africa starting this year.”
Continuing Anderson stressed that, “Our aim is to see how to better Calabar Carnival in the areas of organisation, Promotion, Logistics and revenue generation, don’t forget this is the first time Cross River is participating in this Carnival and it is the initiative of his Excellency the Governor but facilitate by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under my supervision.”
The culture & Tourism Commissioner hinted that,”Carnival Calabar after this trip will not be the same again,because for us our visit is a peer review to see what they are doing good and infuse into what we are doing ,this is why all the band leaders and major stakeholders in management and organisation of the carnival Calabar are here”he said.
He explained further that by 2019 edition,the five competing bands including the Governor’s band will be participating fully to give Rio a taste of Cross River and indeed Nigeria.’
The Executive Secretary, Cross River Carnival Commission,Mr Austine Cobham while commending the Governor for fulfilling his promised to sponsor band leaders to Rio said, “we are here to understand what the world best is doing right that Calabar need to emulate from mustering, adjudication and crowd Control and management.’
According to him, “The visit is going to be the best experience for us as a commission,” and promised to implement every new thing they will learn from the Rio to make Carnival Calabar moreattractive to tourists.