Accra Braces Up For 2018 African Travel Times Awards

Hon. Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Ghana.
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The city of Accra in Ghana is set to host the 2018 Awards of the African Travel Times magazine, at Accra City Hotel on Thursday, December 13.

The award, which is an annual event, was initiated in 2014 and used to recognise ‘Excellence’ in the travel and tourism sector in Nigeria, West Africa and beyond.

African Travel Times, apart from being a core travel and tourism industry magazine, the coverage also includes ‘Insider’, a destination piece written from a local or native point of view [can also be written ‘as told to], as well as ‘fascinating people’, an article profiling persons of interest in the industry in any part of Nigeria and Africa.

According to Lucky George, Publisher/Editor of the magazine, apart from individuals, winners also emerged from various industries including, hospitality, airlines, national/states tourism agencies, tourism education institutions, and tourism ministers.

George revealed that in the airline categories the following emerged: British Airways, Most Trusted Airline [International]; Ethiopian Airlines, Most Reliable Airline [Africa]; ASKY Airlines, Most Reliable Carrier [West Africa]; Kenya Airways, ‘Most Supportive National Carrier’ for effective promotion of the Kenyan Tourism brand alongside South African Airways respectively; Air Namibia, for effective promotion of Brand Namibia in Nigeria, Sen. Sirika Hadi, Minister of State for Aviation for his efforts at Rescuing the Sector in Nigeria, Arik Air, Most Recognisable Airline Brand [Nigeria] and Air Peace, Most Formidable Airline [West Africa]

He also informed that in the Hospitality Category, Eko Hotel & Suites, emerged number one conference venue [West Africa] followed by Transcorp Hilton Hotel, which clinched the Most Corporate Hotel [West Africa], while Royal Senchi Hotel & Resort took Number One Resort [West Africa].

Others in that category are: Wavecrest College of Hospitality [WCH]; the premier Monotechnic in Nigeria offering education and training in the field of hospitality for women since 1972 [West Africa] and Tang Palace Hotel, Best Management & Dining Experience Hotel Of The Year [West Africa].

Also, in the governments/agencies category/training, winners are Bayelsa State Government for Establishing, International Institute of Tourism & Hospitality [IITH]; Akwa Ibom State, Top Sport Tourism Destination [West Africa]; Rivers State, Most Supportive Government in Sustaining Tourism Facilities [Nigeria]; Ghana Tourism Authority, Most Active Tourism Agency West Africa, Benin Republic & Togo, Joint Winners of Authentic African Traditional Culture & Voodoo Capitals [Worldwide]; as well as South African Tourism, ‘Most Effective National Marketing Tourism Agency’ [Africa].

Abiodun Odusanwo, National President, Institute for Tourism Professionals, for Professionalizing the Tourism Sector in Nigeria; Hon. Catherine Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, ‘Most Active’ Tourism Minister Award [West Africa]; Joseph Rennie, General Manager, Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt and Nigeria; Herbert Acquaye, former President, Ghana Hotels Associations [GHA], Ikechi Uko, Outstanding Tourism Personality Of The Year [West Africa] and Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture [NCAC] as Most Distinguished Tourism Personality Award [Nigeria], are all winners and  to receive awards in the Individual Category.

There are winners also in the Ghana category, they are, Bassem Toura, General Manager, Holiday Inn Accra Airport; 3-Star Hotel General Manager Of The Year, Leeford Quarshie, General Manager, La Villa Boutique Hotel, winning the [Ghanaian] General Manager of the Year; Roman Krabel, General manager, Accra City Hotel; 4-Star Hotel General Manager & General Manager Of The Year; and Michael Rathgeb, General Manager, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel; 5-Star Hotel General Manager Of The Year.

Completing the list are;  Golden Tulip Accra, Brand of the Year; Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Conference Hotel of the Year and Regent Hotel as the winner of Airport Hotel Of The Year.

While acknowledging that a respected award in the industry was long overdue, especially in an industry that is service based, George noted that, “Asking the travelling public that lack the technicality and experience of how the travel and tourism industry works to select the best hotel, restaurant and even the best airline in an operating environment annually, is wrong”.

“It is the process that differentiates his publication’s awards from others, as awardees are selected by professionals in the various sub-sectors”, he posited.

It is worth knowing that African Travel Times hit newsstands in 2011, and has since grown to become the most widely read and authoritative travel and tourism publication in West Africa, with an online presence on www.africantraveltimes.com.

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