Accommodation Crisis Grips Cross River as Calabar Carnival Experiences Resurgence

Adoga Stephen By Adoga Stephen - Editor-In-Chief
3 Min Read

The 20th edition of the annual Calabar carnival in Cross River State has attracted a large number of visitors to the city, all eager to take part in the month-long festivities.

However, the increase in attendance has resulted in a shortage of available accommodation, which has posed a challenge for many attendees.

Despite concerns about security in the capital city, the carnival, which began on December 1, has lived up to its reputation.

Each day, a variety of engaging activities have been showcased, leading up to the highly anticipated “Carnival Calabar” on December 28.

Many visitors who arrived in the city have expressed frustration over their difficulties in finding a place to stay, describing the experience as overwhelming.

Reports have shown that even those who carefully planned their trips have encountered unexpected problems finding suitable accommodation within the city limits.

Many visitors shared their experiences of struggling to find a place to stay.

They mentioned how they had to search extensively and eventually settle for accommodations on the outskirts, far away from the city centre.

Adams Adah, one of the visitors, expressed surprise and disappointment at the unexpected difficulty.

He pointed out that a large number of hotels had already been booked, leaving limited options for those who hadn’t made prior reservations.

“We thought it would be easy when we came in, but we were made to understand that bookings were made earlier by several of those who planned to come for the carnival.

“We moved about for hours before we could secure the one when eventually got last night,” she said.

Similarly, Mama Obi, a native originally from Cross River but now residing in Lagos, blamed the lodging shortage on a large inflow of guests expressly for the carnival.

“As I speak with you, there is no longer any hotel space in the heart of Calabar Municipality. If you are lucky, you can get one around Atimbo, Ikorishi, 8 miles, or in Calabar South,” she explained.

Another tourist, Dan, who travelled from Port Harcourt with companions, described his difficulties finding sufficient lodging.

He said: “We all had to manage the one I had secured for wants of space. We were told we will not find any, even normal hotel space, except in he outskirts.”

Despite the challenges of lodging, the carnival’s cultural procession included active participation from 15 Nigerian states and Cameroon, displaying a variety of cultural exhibits and acts.

The Carnival Commission’s Chairman, Gabe Onah, predicts a global viewership of 15 million for the main event, which will be televised live on DSTV on December 28.

Cross River State has already proclaimed a 14-day public vacation for state officials.

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By Adoga Stephen Editor-In-Chief
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Stephen studied Mass Communication at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology), where he acquired requisite training for the practice of journalism. He loves the media, and his interest mostly lies in print medium, where his creative writing skill makes him a perfect fit.