Twenty-seven individuals and institutions have been honoured for their contribution to tourism development.
The awards ceremony was held at the State Banquet Hall in Accra last Wednesday on the theme “rewarding excellence through healthy competition”.
The Labadi Beach Hotel in the Greater Accra Region was adjudged the Five-Star Hotel of the Year in the accommodation category, while The Royal Senchi Resort at Senchi in the Eastern Region received the Four-Star Hotel of the Year in the same category.
The Three-Star Hotel award went to White Sands Beach Resort and Spa at Gomoa Fetteh in the Central Region, while the Two-Star hotel of the year was awarded to Airport View Hotel in the Greater Accra Region.
Aqua Safari Resort at Ada was adjudged the One-Star Hotel of the Year, and Oak Guest House in Koforidua in the Eastern Region was awarded the Guest House of the Year,
while the Budget Hotel of the Year and the Hostel of the Year went to Almond Tree Guest House at Elmina in the Central Region and Akyereba Hostel in Takoradi in the Western Region respectively.
Catering establishment category
A local chop bar at Kpando in the Volta Region, Always Always, was awarded for being the best Traditional Catering Establishment (chop bar) of the Year. Paradise Drinking
Spot in Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, received the Drinking Spot of the Year award, while a night club in Accra, Hot Gossip, won the Night Club of the Year.
Still from the Greater Accra Region, Zebra restaurant, won the Restaurant of the Year (indigenous), while Daisu Hospitality (Santoku) was given the Restaurant of the Year (international).
Under tourism levy, Labadi Beach Hotel in the Greater Accra Region was rewarded for its consistency in the payment of tourism levy, and Greater Accra was acknowledged for being the region that paid its levy (accommodation category),while Jofel Catering Service in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region was rewarded for consistent payment of tourism levy (restaurant category).
Under this category, the Visitor Attraction of the Year award went to Manhyia Palace in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, and the district support for tourism development award was given to Afadjato South District in the Volta Region, while exemplary award for sustainable ecotourism was presented to Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary in the Upper West Region.
The rest were, site guide of the year, Mr Justice Brobbey at Manhyia Palace Museum in the Ashanti Region, and tour guide of the year went to Mr Aziz Pelpuo from the Upper West Region, while car rental establishment of the year was Yoks Investment Limited in Accra.
Tour operator and travel agency of the year went to Land Tours Ghana Limited and Travel Bureau respectively; both firms were from the Greater Accra Region.
Tourism oriented media for print was awarded to the Ghanaian Times and the television category was presented to TV3, while radio category was awarded to Joy FM.
Mr Kofi Sakyiama Pobi of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, Radio Central, in Cape Coast was awarded the tourism journalist of the year.
The District Initiative in Tourism Development award went to the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly( KMA), and support for sustainable of homogenous festival of the Ga Adangbes (Homofest) went to Accra Metropolitan Assembly, while the regional co-ordinating council support for tourism development award went to the Upper East Regional Co-ordinating Council.
International support for tourism training and capacity building award was granted to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Ghana, and support for Ghana’s tourism industry and consistent commitment to social responsibility awards went to Turkish Airlines and Papaye Fast Foods respectively.
For their outstanding investment in the tourism industry, Mr Michael Adjei of Modern City Hotels in Tamale, and the Director of Jofel Catering Service, Mrs Felicia Danquah,
Mr Patrick Fares of Holiday Inn in Accra, and Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel in Takoradi, were honoured at the event.
The chairman of Alisa Hotels, Mr Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, was acknowledged for his outstanding investment in the tourism industry, as well as the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT).
The Managing Director of Flair Catering Services, Mrs Barbara-Enchill, was rewarded for her outstanding contribution to hospitality training and capacity building in the sector.
Competition for development
In her keynote address, the sector minister, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, said she found the theme appropriate because competition had become necessary to stimulate development and promote excellence in the tourism sector.
She said she had observed that the tourism award scheme had promoted healthy competition among tourism enterprises, explaining that the process of selection had motivated tourism plants and their managements to strive for improved service delivery.
She therefore commended the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for sustaining the National Tourism Awards.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said as part of doing things right, the ministry, with technical support from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, had developed a 15 -year tourism plan to position tourism as a major pillar for Ghana’s economic development.
To enhance the tourism and creative arts industry, the minister said President John Dramani Mahama, had fulfilled his pledge to the creative arts practitioners and cultural forum by releasing GH¢1 million from the Tourism Development Fund to support culture and creative arts activities.
For his part, the Acting Executive Director of the GTA, Mr Charles Osei-Bonsu, stressed that tourism had a big role to play in national development.
Initiated 11 years ago, the NTA is the benchmark to assess the tourism industry and also to celebrate its players for their contribution to the national economy.
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