Africa: Winners Emerge for the 2018 BALAFON West African Travel and Tourism AWARDS

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The winners of the 9th Edition of the Balafon awards and the 4th Edition to be held in Accra Ghana has been released by publishers of Atqnews.Com.

Balafon awards of Excellence is an annual Awards organised to recognise Pioneers and best players in the industry for the ECOWAS region
The winners are selected via a select polls among Practitioners and ratified by a board made of Specialist in Media

1. Travel Personality of the Year in West Africa – Stella Fubara Director Africa Dubai Tourism

2. Tourism Man of the Year in West Africa – Mrs. Uloma Egbuna, MD, Tour Brokers international Nigeria

3. Aviation Man of the Year in West Africa – Capt. Ado Sanusi, MD Aero

4. Hotel Personality of the Year in West Africa – Malah Saleh – Gambia

5. Best Airline in West Africa: – Air Peace

6. Best Hotel in West Africa-Kempinski Gold Coast city Hotel Accra Ghana,

7. Best Airport in West Africa – Dakar International Airport Senegal

8. Best Ground Handling Company in West Africa –Aviance

9. Best Tourism Marketing Award West Africa – Ghana

10. Tourism Event of the Year West Africa – Carnival Calabar

11. Aviation Minister of the Year West Africa-Cecilia Dappah Minister of Aviation Ghana

12. Tourism minister of the year in West Africa- Hon. Catherine Afeku Minister of Tourism ,Culture and Creative Arts.

This comes as Organisers of Weizo announces the launch of a West African Travel and Tourism platform for the growth of Seamless Travel in the Ecowas region. The new association for Private sector Players in the region will emerge at the event.

At the launch of Accra Weizo 4 years ago the Vision was to turn the 15 countries and its 380million people into a Domestic Tourism Destination.
It has taken four years for the Organisers of Weizo to reach out to over 150 Travel and Tour Operators in West Africa from 6 countries enough to start a regional association that will drive Tourism in the region.
WATTA will be an association for any player in the Tourism and Travel environment.
The interim Board of WATTA will be announced and Inaugurated at Accra Weizo on the 23rd of June 2018 at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel Accra.

Accra Weizo is one of the events geared towards getting West Africans to Cooperate amongst themselves.

West Africa is home to 15 countries of over 380 million people but Tourism and Travel is not the strong Suite of the Economic interaction in the region. The Region receives among the lowest Tourism figures per Capita in Africa. With a huge Population and over 40 Airports Aviation is dominated by Companies from outside the Region Accra Weizo is a Travel event now in its 4th edition aimed at creating a seamless travel environment in West Africa. It brings together Travel professional in West Africa

The ECOWAS region despite a protocol of free movement has not grown Intra regional Tourism and Travel.

At Weizo this year the Honourable minister of Aviation for Ghana Hon. Cecilia Abena Dapaah will be Opening the 4th Accra Weizo event on the 22nd of June with a Paper titled ‘Harnessing the Opportunities in Aviation value chain in West Africa’

The first day will be the seminar on Aviation and the Second day will be dedicated to ‘Travel, Tourism and the Internet’ session to grow Travel Business and destination. It will be taking place at ada Ekesi Hall at L a Palm Royal Beach Hotel

The topics to be discussed on the first session of the event which is dedicated solely to Aviation in West Africa include

“Interlining in West Africa, a possibility or a Mirage?” “ Integrating West African Airport System” “Standardizing Aviation Laws in West Africa for Regional Growth” “Why West African Airlines fail easily and the future”.

Confirmed panellists for that session are Capt. Ado Sanusi –Managing Director of Nigeria’s oldest Airline Aero owners of the major MRO in the region, Chike Ogeah the Vice Chairman SAHCOL a leading Nigerian Owned Aviation handling and Logistics company, Alex Nwuba, CEO of Ghana based Smile Aviation and former CEO of Nigerian based Associated Airlines, Richard Kyereh from Africa World Airlines the leading Airline in Ghana. Other Airlines Chief Executives are expected to join the panel.

Because of the need to Organise the Tourism products available in the region to encourage Intra regional Tourism Atqnews will be hosting an Award for the Top100 Hotels in West Africa.

There will also be a Hospitality panel made up of Top Hotel Managers in West Africa to discuss “The Adapting of International Hotel Standards to the African Environment” Already confirmed Panellists which is a mixture of African and non-African Hotel Managers include Marigold Vivian Mingle of Ridge Royal Resort at Cape Coast. She was a former General manager of La Palm Royal beach Hotel in Accra.

Pastor. Emmanauel Geadda-Asando Vice President -Ghana Progressive Hotels Association, Sajid Khan. General Manager, Tang Palace Hotel Ghana he is one of the most experienced Hotel. managers in West Africa having managed Fiesta Royal Accra, Golden Tulip Lagos, Golden Tulip Hotel Accra Ghana among others. Malah Saleh is the CEO of Djembe Hotels and Balafon Hotels in the Gambia. Currently he is one of the biggest Hotel proprietors in West Africa. Topics lined up for day 2 of the event on the 23rd include ‘How effective are travel bloggers, writers and influencers in promoting travel destinations in West Africa’ to be discussed by the following confirmed panellists will include Gabe Onah, Chairman Carnival Calabar Commission,

Steve Ayorinde, Lagos state commissioner of Tourism, Mr Lehlohonolo Pitso, Regional Manager, West Africa for South African Tourism SAT, Akwasi Agyeman, ag. CEO Ghana Tourism Authority, Ebele Enemchukwu, Fmr Mrs Tourism United Nations, Ghana’s Tourism promoter media Mogul and CEO of Kaya Tours Abeku Santana , Nigerian CNN journalist of the year Award winner and leading Travel Writer Obinna Emelike of Business Day, One of Ghana’s top Blogger Ameyaw Debrah of Ameyaw Tv, The Instagram sensation, Nigerian star tour Operator Chiamaka Obuekwe, MD Social Prefect Tours, Ghanaian based Communicator Chris Koney.

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