The Western Regional Correspondent of Citi FM/Citi TV Akwasi Agyei Annim has been recognized as the Tourism Writer for the Year 2019 at the Western Regional Tourism Authority’s 2019 Awards.
The event held on Friday 4th September 2020 in Takoradi.
Annim was honoured for his contribution to the Tourism sector through his reportage that brings attention to issues which promote the growth of the industry.
This is the second time the Western Regional Tourism Authority is awarding him as he first received the award in 2016.
In all, four honorary and 25 competitive awards were given to deserving tourism industry players and contributors at the event held at the Best Western Plus Hotel in Takoradi.
The 2019 Western Regional Tourism Award which was on the theme “Growing Tourism Beyond The Return” is in line with the annual Ghana Tourism Awards calendar with the aim to reward excellence in the hospitality industry through Healthy Competition among operators.
The Deputy Executive Director of Operation at the Ghana Tourism Authority, Ekow Sampson in an address said the Tourism Awards was started in 1997 to reward and raise standards in the sector and it is in its 23rd year.
Mr. Sampson who said the industry made a lot of gains in the Year of Return,.
He, however, added that the COVID-19 pandemic affected the tourism sector the most but expressed hope that the tourism industry would bounce back with the opening of the Kotoka International Airport and lifting of restrictions.
He, however, cautioned against illegal tourism operators and announced plans to build three tourism training institutions.
“The industry is hampered by operations of illegal tourism operators. I call on such operators to regularize their operations and work within the tourism regulation. We are also going to establish tourism training schools in the country and one of the three tourism training schools would be set up in Sekondi-Takoradi to help train and improve skills in the industry.”
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, said the government in recognition of the pandemic has set up a GHS 600 million stimulus package to support the sector.
He, however, said the Western Regional Coordinating Council is on a mission to promote tourism in the region which was only hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Government, as part of efforts to put the tourism and hospitality industry back on its feet, has rolled out a stimulus package of GHS 600 million to compensate for the negative impact of the outbreak on the industry. To re-open the tourism economy successfully and get business up and running, more needs to be done in co-ordinated ways, as tourism services are inter-dependent. In this light, the government is looking at the long-term implication of the crisis, stay ahead of the digital curve and put in place structural transformational programs to build a stronger, more sustainable and resilient tourism economy. The Western Regional Co-ordinating Council under my leadership has tourism promotion agenda to pursue. For us, we see tourism as encompassing and not the sole preserve of the hospitality industry. We have made several interventions to ensure a robust tourism economy.”
Among them are:
• The operationalization of the WRCC Investment Centre to provide one-stop-shop facilitation for investment and tourism activities in the Region;
• Showcasing the Western Region globally as an investment and tourism destination of choice, for which reason I led a delegation to participate in the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, Canada from 11th-13th June, 2019, which in turn resulted in the visit to Ghana by the Vice President (Hon. Scott Brison) of the Bank of Montreal (MBO) and to Takoradi on the 4th of July, 2019.
• I again led a delegation to Spain in October 2019 to present Western Region’s Tourism Development Plan and Investment Opportunities.
• The WRCC also facilitated and hosted Aviation and Tourism Conference dubbed “AVIATOUR” between 2nd and 4th October 2019.
• From the 8th to the 10th of March, 2020, we hosted the first-ever Gold Expo. The event brought together major international, national and local actors in the mining industry. Apart from the investment prospects, I believe it was also good a way of telling the world what we have as a Region, by way of natural endowments. As part of efforts to rebrand the Region, I have proposed for a change of our usual slogan “The Best Comes from the West to “The Best is in the West”. With this new slogan, I believe we are re-affirming our “Excellence Orientation”. I wish to assure you that there is more in view, and that, the future is bright with the measures put in place to shape the future of tourism in general.”
Here is the full list of awardees:
1. Takoradi Technical University – Excellence in Tourism Education and Training
2. Dr Stephen Saforo Yawa Yirenky i- Tourism Personality of the Year
3. Samuel Agyekum-Kingstel Hotel, Takoradi – Culinary Excellence of The Year
4. Tour Guide of the Year – Elvis Owusu-Mensah
5. Akwasi Agyei Annim(Citi TV) -Tourism Writer for the Year 2019
6. Tourism Programme of the Year – Westide Carnival
7. Site Guide of the year – Emmanuel Emuah, Nzulezo Village on Stilt
8. Visitor Attraction of The Year – Ankasa Conservation Area, Ankasa
9. Tour Operator of the year – Flylinks Travel and Tour, Anaji
10. Car Rental Service of the year – Sadak Car Rentals, Takoradi
11. Travel Agency of the Year – Justmax Travels and Tour, Takoradi
12. Consistent Payment of the Tourism Levy(Catering) – Malibu Restaurant and Pub Takoradi
13. Traditional Caterer of the Year(Chop Bar) – God is love Chop Bar, Takoradi
14. Drinking Bar of the year- K.Q Lunch Box, Takoradi
15. Fast Food establishment of the year – L’atarah Restaurant Takoradi Mall
16. Night Club/Pub of the year- Vienna City Night Takoradi
17. Restaurant of the year grade III- Hot Ernesto Fast Food, Takoradi
18. Restaurant of the year II- Golden Girft Restaurant, Tarkwa
19. Restaurant of the year – Paragon Bar and Grill Takoradi
20. Consistent Payment of the tourism levy(Accommodation) – Maaha Beach Resort, Anokyi
21. Hostel of the year – Windy’s Hostel Windy, Takoradi
22. Budget of the year – Rajgil Hotel, Wingy Ridge, Takoradi
23. Guest House of the year – DKO Regent Garden, Tarkwa
24. Service Apartment of the year – Red Mango Apartments Chapel Hill, Takoradi
25. One-Star Hotel of the year – Queen Elizabeth Hotel Sefwi Wiawso
26. Two-Star Hotel of the Year – Grace Garden Hotel Nkroful, Takoradi
27. Three-Star Hotel of the year – Raybow International Hotel, Dixcove Hill,Takoradi
28. Four-Star Hotel of the year – Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel, Beach Road,Takoradi.