The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has organised the 14th edition of the Ghana Tourism Awards to celebrate practitioners and organisations in the tourism and hospitality industry for their outstanding performances over the year 2018.
The awards were categorised into Food and Beverage and Entertainment (Catering) Awards, Travel Services Awards, Accommodation Awards, Media awards and Honorary Awards.
In all, 35 individuals, institutions and businesses were acknowledged and awarded including six honourary awards.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, the tourism industry is a strong pillar for Ghana’s economy and must therefore be equipped to attract more investment to the development of the nation.
He noted that the GTA has aggressively marketed the industry and have had increasing growth and development in the country.
He also acknowledged the ‘Year of Return’ which is being celebrated in African – American and Diaspora Market to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in Jamestown Virginia.. Ghana was selected as the ‘home’ for the homecoming and Mr. Agyeman noted that: “400 years brings memories of both sadness and unity. We open our doors to the global African family.”
He urged the tourism industry and practitioners to be welcoming and warmly receive the ‘Year of Return’ visitors into the country.
Mr. Agyeman also touched on the fact that technology is impacting and opening up a direct ushering between trade markets and influencers in the tourism industry. He urged all tourism stakeholders, practitioners and companies to adopt the use of new technologies to upgrade and meet up with global standards in order to improve Ghana’s tourism sector.
The CEO highlighted some challenges in the area of cumbersome visa regime, access to good road networks to some tourist sites as well as sanitation.
On her part, Minister designate for the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Madam Barbara Oteng Gyasi, noted that the ministry recognises and rewards outstanding services and excellent contributions to the tourism industry in Ghana.
She said: “We will be working with all industry players to achieve the aim and goals of the tourism industry. Low product quality and inconsistent standards are being tackled within the scope of the World Bank’s standards. This will make the tourism landscape different.”
She encouraged the participants present to support and go by the guidelines of the tourism industry.
In attendance were high profile personalities including the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway who represented the President, Dr. Ziblim Iddi, Deputy Tourism Minister Gloria Akuffo and the Paramount Chief of the Oguaa Traditional Area
Below is the full list of awardees
Special Mention – Joseph Amartey, Youth Tourism Ambassador, TOSOGHA
1. Edwin Owusu-Mensah – (Fmr Dir. Ministry of Tourism, Arts And Culture, Former Dep. Exec. Dir. Ghana Tourism Authority)
2. Stella W. Appenteng – (CEO – Apstar Tours Ltd)
3. Kwame Ofosu Bamfo (MD – Alisa Hotel)
4. Sajid Ali Kahn – (GM – Tang Palace Hotel,Accra,Ghana)
5. Erieca Bennett – (Head of Mission, Missions Forum: Africa Diaspora Missions Network)
6. Mark Williams – (CEO – Ashanti African Tours Ltd)
1. 5 Star Hotel of the Year – Movenpic Ambassador Hotel
2. 4 Star Hotel of the Year – Tang Palace Hotel
3. 3 Star Hotel of the Year – Holiday Inn Hotel
4. 2 Star Hotel of the Year – Ibis Style, Accra
5. 1 Star Hotel of the Year – Coconut Grove Sakumono
6. Guest House of the Year – Petit Palais Guesthouse
7. Budget Hotel of the Year – Ronna Lodge, Adidome
8. Hostel of the Year – Bedstuy, Osu
9. Serviced Apartment of the Year – Red Mango Apartments chapel Hill
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Travel Services Awards
1. Airline of the Year – South African Airways
2. Tour Operator of the Year – Landtours Ghana
3. Travel Agency of the Year – Satguru Travels Ghana Ltd
4. Car Rental Service of the Year – Atlas Rent A Car
5. Visitor Attraction of the Year – Kakum National Park Ghana
6. Tour Guide of the Year – Ellis Nii Laaye Bonney
Food and Beverage and Entertainment (Catering) Awards
1. Restaurant Grade 1 – Azmera Restaurant
2. Restaurant Grade 2 – The Buka Restaurant Ltd
3. Restaurant Grade 3 – Madela Restaurant, Sunyanil
4. Fast Food of the Year – Papaye Fast Foods Ltd.
5. Night Club of the Year – Plot 7 Night Club, Osu
6. Traditional Caterer (Chop Bar) of the Year – Bush Kanteen Shiashie,
7. Drinking Bar of the Year – The Treasures Pub, Agbogba
1. Tourism Writer of the Year – Kofi Akpabli
2. Tourism Oriented Media TV – TV3 Media,
3. Tourism Oriented Media (Radio)- Citi 97.3 FM
4. Tourism Oriented Media (Print)- The Mirror
5. Tourism Oriented Media (Online) – VoyagesAfriq Media
6. Tourism Programme of the Year – Our Heritage by UTV Ghana