A total of 18 individuals, institutions and businesses were recognized at the 2020 Ghana National Tourism Awards. The event came off last Saturday night at the Grand Arena at the Accra International Conference Centre.
As a departure from the normal format of the awards’ ceremony which usually have both competitive and honorary categories, this year’s focused on the latter.
This was because of the close to no industry activity last year as a result of Coronavirus. The event brought tourism industry players from the public and private sectors, corporate Ghana, traditional authorities, leadership of the Nation Media Group from Kenya, the media and other stakeholders.
CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman in his address, stated that tourism had shown great resilience in face of COVID-19 pandemic which has had a crippling effect on the sector.
He said that although tourism numbers in Ghana were showing promise this year, recurring waves and detection of new variants of the Coronavirus meant that tourism is not out of the woods yet.
“In the year 2020 we recorded international arrivals of 355,000, in the first nine months of 2021 we recorded 411000. So that shows some improvement in our numbers. If you take domestic tourism, in the entire year of 2020, we had 290,000 visitors to our various sites.
“As at September (2021) we had crossed the 350,000 mark and so the numbers are looking up but we believe that we are not out of the woods yet.
“COVID has its own ideas with new variants every day but we are also going to change tactics every day to fight it,” he stressed.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey said through various government’s support and interventions, Ghana’s tourism industry was gradually bouncing back.
“Thankfully, with the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines and the opening of borders and other government interventions like the World Bank grant to SMEs in the tourism industry, the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa initiative which seeks to revitalize the various sectors of the economy including, the tourism sector, the single window destination project, among other things, the tourism industry in Ghana is gearing up to bounce back,” the Minister stated.
Honorees cut across various fields of the tourism sector and others who have dedicated their work life work towards promoting indigenous arts and culture.
Osagyefuo Amoatia Ofori Panin II – Supportive Traditional Ruler
Nana Kobina Nketsia – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Okatakyi Prof. Amanfi VII – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Mr. Ernest William Edusei – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Kingdom Exim Group – Outstanding Corporate Stakeholder
Prof. Esi Sutherland-Addy – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Mrs. Delphine Brew-Hammond – Outstanding Tourism Woman
Mr. Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey – Tourism Oriented Media Personality
Madam Grace Omaboe – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Mr. Kwaw Paintsil Ansah – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Hon. Kennedy Ohene Agyapong – Outstanding Personality in the Fight Against Covid-19
Mr. David Dontoh – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey – Outstanding Tourism Man
Kuoru Kuri-Buktie Limann – Outstanding Personality in the Preservation and Conservation of Iconic Sites
Mr. Daniel Amponsah (Agya Koo Nimo) – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Mr. Joe Nyarko – Cultural and Tourism Icon
Chefs Association Ghana – Most Active Tourism Trade Association
Mr. James Ebo Whyte – Cultural and Tourism Icon