Accra, Nov. 8, GNA – Kempinski Hotel (Gold Coast City) has emerged the 5-Star Hotel of the Year for the second year running at the National Tourism Awards held in Accra.
Tang Palace Hotel, also in Accra also emerged the 4-Star Hotel of the year for the second consecutive year.
The 15th edition of the awards ceremony, on the theme, “Growing Tourism Beyond The Return, Beyond COVID-19”, was aimed t celebrating and rewarding industry players who have excelled in their various fields of endeavour within the Tourism industry.
Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture said the ceremony provides a unique platform to recognize tourism sector players for their meritorious contribution to the promotion and growth of the tourism sector in Ghana.
She said the awards since its inception in 1997 has always sought to raise standards and encourage healthy competition amongst tourism industry practitioners to firmly position tourism as a vibrant economic sector and to consolidate the country’s position as a preferred tourist destination.
She noted that this year’s ceremony was being held at a time when the tourism industry has been hard hit by the global pandemic and it behooves on industry professionals to take precautionary measures at all establishments by adhering to the safety and hygiene protocols.
She said tourism was one of the fastest-growing sectors of the Ghanaian economy with linkages to various sectors, providing employment to several young people and creating an avenue for national development.
« In the face of stiff competition with other destinations in Africa and the world at large, it is imperative that we do things right to attract the needed tourists to Ghana to rake in the substantial foreign exchange. »
She said Ghana’s tourism made great strides in the year 2019, by the ‘ Year of Return’ campaign, however, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on the industry and its harsh effects on the industry include a delay in the launch and roll-out of the ‘Beyond the Return’activities, a general downturn in the sector’s performance, massive and unanticipated loss of revenue and jobs.
She pledged the Ministry’s continuous support for the promotion and development of tourism in Ghana and commended all practitioners in the tourism, arts, and culture sector; who have in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic remained committed to retaining Ghana on the competitive international tourism map as the preferred tourism destination in West Africa.
She said the achievements and successes chalked by the sector, had been achieved under a public-private partnership arrangement and was delighted that due recognition was being given to such hardworking personalities and organizations especially from the private sector and the driving force behind the tourism industry.
She congratulated the award winners for distinguishing themselves and making them all proud.
Mrs Akosua Frema Osei opare, The Chief of Staff lauded the efforts of the Tourism Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority in the fight against corona and efforts to revive the industry, and pledged governments continuous effort to support the industry.
Mr Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, organisers of the event, urged industry players to join the GTA to pull resources together to help revamp and develop the industry beyond COVID-19.
In all, 43 awards were presented to deserving tourism establishments and personalities during the awards ceremony, including 32 competitive awards and 11 honorary awards.