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The Mirror newspaper honoured for promoting tourism in Ghana

BY: Charles Andoh
Director of News at GCGL, Mrs Mavis Kitcher (extreme right) and Hadiza Nuhhu Billa Quansah from The Mirror receiving the award on behalf of The Mirror
Director of News at GCGL, Mrs Mavis Kitcher (extreme right) and Hadiza Nuhhu Billa Quansah from The Mirror receiving the award on behalf of The Mirror

Twenty-eight organisations and 10 individuals including The Mirror newspaper, were honoured at the 2018 National Tourism Awards event for promoting tourism in Ghana.

This is the fourth time the newspaper is picking the award. In 2014, The Mirror received both the regional and national awards for the Tourism Oriented Media (print) category.

It also picked the same award in 2017.

In one of the citations, the newspaper is acknowledged thus: “The Mirror, a favourite weekend newspaper of many in Ghana, continues to consistently support the sector’s tourism awareness creation initiatives. The newspaper generously devotes several pages and adverts on tourism-related events and facilities of both the public and private sectors of the industry. The Mirror receives the Tourism Oriented Media award (print) for these and many other opportunities the newspaper has offered the tourism industry.

A columnist of the paper, Mr Kofi Akpabli, also won the 2018 tourism writer of the year category.

Reason for awards

The awards is also to raise standards and encourage healthy competition among industry players with a view to positioning tourism as a vibrant economic sector and to consolidate the country’s position as a preferred tourist destination.

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The event, instituted by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) was on the theme “Celebrating Our Heritage.” It was held at the Ghana Trade Fair Center, La in Accra last Friday.

Already, regional awards had been held last month by the various regional offices of the authority to award deserving tourism establishments and personalities.
Other award categories were 5-Star Hotel of the Year, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel; 4-Star Hotel of the Year, Tang Palace Hotel; 3-Star Hotel of the Year, Holiday Inn Hotel; 2-Star Hotel of the Year, Ibis Style Accra; and 1-Star Hotel of the Year, Coconut Grove Sakumono Hotel.

Bush Canteen at Shiahsie in Accra picked the Traditional Caterer of the Year, while Papaye Fastfood Company Limited and Eusbett Hotel in Sunyani were specially awarded for their consistent payment of tourism levy.

The South African Airline picked home the Tourism Oriented Airline of the Year, Kakum National Park was honoured as the Visitor Attraction of the Year.

Mr Christopher Imoro of the Shai Hills Resource Reserve was adjudged the Site Guide of the Year, the Tour Guide of the Year went to Mr Ellis Nii Laaye Booney, while the GTA awarded Mr Joseph Amartey of the Tourism Society of Ghana, as the Youth Brand Ambassador.

Dignitaries

The President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo, was the Guest of Honour, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, represented him.

Other dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Minister Designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi; the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Ms Gloria Akuffo; Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Dr Ziblim Barri Iddi; the Omanhen of the Oguaa Traditional Area, Osabarima Kwesi Atta II and the Board Chair of the GTA, Ms Adelaide Ahwireng.

In his address, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, said technology was changing the phase of tourism across the globe, and called on operators within the sector to get themselves abreast of the development.

“As an authority, we have begun processes of automating all our operations to be a world-class destination across the globe,” he said.

Mr Agyeman indicated that the tourism sector continued to be a strong pillar of Ghana’s economy, noting that in the past two years, the sector had seen growth — visitor arrivals inched up by 15 per cent, licensed accommodation facilities went up by 22 per cent, and visitors to tourist sites by about 26 per cent.

He also indicated that some infrastructure such as roads leading to tourist sites had been given on contract to give facelift to the areas.

“We are hopeful that the initiatives and plans put in place by the authority will lead to transformation of the sector leading to more jobs, increased foreign exchange receipts, urban regeneration, local community improvement and the stimulation of local industries to meet the needs across the value chain of the sector,” he added.