ATQ Announces winners of Balafon Award for Tourism in West Africa

L-R: Mr. Collins Udolu, of Accra Weizo; Mrs. Bella Ahu, GHATOF President; Mr. Adomako Mensah, Ag DED, Ghana Tourism Authority during a recent press briefing unveiling Accra Weizo

… to be honoured at 5th Accra Weizo

Posted by Sade Williams

African Travel Quarterly (ATQ) has released the list of winners of the prestigious Balafon Awards to be recognised at the annual West African tourism and travel fair, Accra Weizo.

The award winners are the best performers in the industry chosen by the publishers of Atqnews.com. ATQnews.com a member of Travel Media Group. It is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ) and Travellers magazine , the first Travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. It started publishing offline about 30 years ago. ATQnews.com features reports that cover a wide range of topics within the travel and tourism sectors which are intended for an ever-increasing and passionate audience of readers and travellers from all over the world.

Balafon awards of Excellence is an annual Awards organized to recognize Pioneers and best players in the industry for the ECOWAS region.For this year, Atqnews.com is using Balafon awards to draw attentions to the best conference centres in West Africa. In 2017, it hosted the awards for ‘Top 100 Tourism personalities in West Africa’ and at the 2018 edition it hosted the ‘Top 100 Hotels in West Africa’. Beside its annual Balafon award in 2019, atqnews.com seeks to position in positive light the leading conference centres in West Africa.

The winners of the categories were selected via nominations to  atqnewsawards@gmail.com which ended on the 3rd of June. The 5th Accra Weizo 2019 is organized by Akwaaba Travel Market in partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority, themed: “seamless travel is West Africa,” is expected to bring travel and tourism professionals from across the West Africa region.  Last year, at the World Travel Market in London, Ghana Tourism Authority signed a 5 year MOU with the Organisers of Accra Weizo. The MOU is to Jointly Organise the Successful Expo with the owners Akwaaba Travel Market. Accra Weizo has been organized in Ghana for 4 years now and the 2019 edition is for June 28th and 29th.

Ghana is the leading Meetings Incentives Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) destination in West Africa and ranks Number One on ICCA ratings. Hosting Accra Weizo reinforces the positioning of Accra for MICE and Ghana for Tourism.

According to a report by Ghana News Agency – The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) together with its stakeholders on Wednesday launched the 2019 edition of the Women in Tourism Summit and the Accra Weizo Fair, in Accra. The summit on the theme: “Empowering women in Ghana’s Tourism Industry” is scheduled for June 27, while the fair on the theme “seamless travel is West Africa” is scheduled for June 28th and June 29.

Mr. Isaac Adomako–Mensah, Deputy Executive Director, Finance and Administration, GTA, said both the summit and fair have become part of the major events to promote tourism in the country since their inception. He said the fair was geared towards getting West Africans to cooperate with each other, and is aimed at creating a seamless travel environment in West Africa by bringing together travel professionals to Accra. He said the GTA would host delegates coming from nations in the East, West and Southern Africa at a three-day familiarization tour from June 25 till 27. “The delegates will take a tour of the Greater Accra, Western and Central regions. Places of visit would include Nzulezu, Ankasa Conservation Area, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Secondi European Town, and the Cape Coast Castle.”

Adomako–Mensah noted that the tour programme drawn for them was in tandem with the Authority’s domestic tourism campaign of Eat, Feel, See, and Wear Ghana. Mr Isaac Adomako–Mensah congratulated the leaderships of both events, expressing the hope that both events in the long run would accelerate the development of tourism in Ghana and West Africa.

Mr Collins Udolu, Accra Weizor, said the fair had come this far after its inception five years ago, solely by the work of the dedicated team with support of stakeholders looking to enhance the business and tourism environment across Africa.

He said the event has grown to become an event found in every arena of tour operations in West Africa, and has helped change the narrative of West Africa by collaborating and easing business in tourism and aviation “This year the event would have speakers from Ghana, Nigeria, Dubai, and Uganda.”

Mrs. Bella Ahu, president, Ghana Tourism Federation, congratulated the organisers of both events, saying empowering women in tourism was long overdue, and the summit had come at an appropriate time when women empowerment was on the increase in the industry.  “Five years in the life of every organisation needs to be celebrated, and we believe that participants would take the opportunity to see, eat, feel and wear Ghana.” Ghana has declared 2019 the year of return in commemoration of 400years of slavery. It has since hosted many events to mark the year. Accra weizo will be one of the international events listed for 2019.

2019 BALAFON West African Travel and Tourism Awards

1. Travel Personality of the Year in West Africa –      Chief Allen Onyema (Air Peace)

2. Tourism Man of the Year in West Africa         –      Otunba Segun Runsewe- DG, Nigeria Council

             For Art and Culture  

3. Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa –             Captain Solomon Quianoo (Ghana)

4. Hotel Personality of the Year in West Africa –       Amaechi Ndili – Golden Tulip West Africa

5. Best Airline in West Africa –                                   African World Airline (AWA)

6. Best Hotel in West Africa   –                                   Kempinski Goldcity Hotel.

7. Best Airport in West Africa (for government agencies) –  Kotoka International Airport, Ghana.

8. Best Ground Handling Company in West Africa – Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL)

9. Best Tourism Marketing Agency in West Africa –              Ghana Tourism Authority

10. Best Tourism event of the Year in West Africa –              Carnival Calabar, Nigeria

11. Top twenty (20) Conference centers in West Africa:

Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana

Kempinski Goldcoast city Hotel, Ghana

La Palm Royal Beach, Accra, Ghana.

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Ghana

Labadi Hotel, Accra, Ghana

Alisa Hotel North Ridge, Ghana.

Abuja International Conference Centre , Nigeria

Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria

Abuja Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria

Eko Hotel & Suites Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria

The Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.         

Muson Centre, Lagos, Nigeria

King Fahd Palace Hotel, Dakar, Senegal.

Salle de Conference, Dakar, Senegal.

Kairaba Beach Hotel, Gambia

Coral Beach, Brufut, Gambia.

Palais Des Congress, Cotonou, Benin.

Hotel du 2 Fevrier, Lome Togo.

Sofitel Abidjan Hotel I’voire, Abidjan

Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire.

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