The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwesi Agyemang, has hinted that his outfit has partnered with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (WTO) to embark on an energy solutions drive intended to help reduce utility tarrif for hospitality service providers in the industry.
He made the call at the 2017 Eastern Regional Awards held at Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel in Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The theme for this year's Eastern Regional Tourism awards “Promoting Responsible Tourism”, aimed at acknowledging deserving industry players who have exhibited excellence in standards, facility and service delivery.
The occasion brought together many people from different walks of life whose presence graced the occasion including high ranking individuals like the New Juabeng Municipal Chief Executive, Madam Comfort Asante, CEO of GTA, Akwesi Agyemang, and players in the Hospitality industry among others.
The Regional Manager for GTA, Frederick Adjei- Rudolph, in his welcome address explained that Ghana is often perceived as an expensive Tourism destination due to lack of a National airline which has made traveling in and out of the country very expensive. He therefore made a passionate appeal to government to consider resurrecting the Ghana airways to help make Ghana a destination of choice and boost tourism.
Mr Adjei- Rudolph opined that government should also consider investing in the training institutions in the industry to ensure quality service delivery.
"Millions of dollars have been invested by individual business men or women and corporate organizations in the industry. To complement these huge investments, government must ensure that a favourable enabling environment is created by also investing in training institutions that will train professionals to ensure quality service delivery.”
The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwesi Agyemang, noted in his address that GTA is poised to ensure that Ghana becomes a strong Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibition (MICE) destination and boost tourism in the country indicating that GTA has embarked on measures to lesson burdens of industry players. He urged all players in the industry to support this by contributing their quota to the region.
He noted that out of the 231 new accommodation established last year, 37 was credited to the Eastern Region alone which shows investor confidence in the region.
“Within the year there were about nineteen stakeholder engagements that we embarked on all over the country and across board we have heard the complaints, the difficulties, utility tariffs, bad roads to tourist attractions, poor service standards and all that and we’ve been working on and I am happy to say that some of the issues that have been mentioned in some of the engagements that we have embarked on, are very soon going to be a thing of the past. There has been talks of the need for a special tariffs for utility in the hospitality industry, but even before we get there, in partnership with the UN WTO, we have embarked on an energy solutions drive to look at how given the existing climate and what we have using some of the technologies that is available, we can reduce utilities on our own,” he said.
The New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Madam Comfort Asante, encouraged industry players to take advantage of the giant strides government is putting in place to help reduce the burden on the players.
The Director of Mac Dic Royal Plaza Hotel, Barimah Kofi Adjei Twinin, expressed gratitude to GTA for recognizing its efforts in the industry and charged all players in the industry to strive for excellence.
Awards were presented to deserving individuals and institutions under Accommodation, Media, Special Awards, Travel Services and Catering Services categories. In all, a total of twenty eight awards were presented to individuals and institutions. Royal Senchi Hotel and Resort(Senchi), was a adjudged four star hotel of the year 2017 with Mac Dic Royal Plaza the three star Hotel at Kwahu Pepease.
Other awards included The lounge Tarven(Peduase), Drinking Bar of the Year 2017 under the Catering Service Category, Lisco Restaurant(Koforidua) Restaurant of the Year 2017 also under the Catering Service category. Some of the Media category awards went to UTV for being Tourism Oriented Media and UTV's Eastern Regional Correspondent, Ebenezer Ayeh as Tourism Correspondent Electronic of the year.
Tourism Oriented Media (Print) went to Ghanaian Times and Tourism Oriented Media of the year (Radio) to Citi FM. Mrs Ama Takyiwaa Ampadu Nyarko Agyemang was recognized as Tourism Correspondent (Print) category.
Our UTV correspondent, Ebenezer Ayeh could not hide his excitement as he interacted with the news team.
"I am elated to have received an award for being the Tourism Correspondent for the year 2017. My foremost appreciation goes to the Almighty God for bringing me this far in my career. My appreciation also goes to my team here in the region whose collective effort has catapulted me to this pedestal. Without them I wouldn’t be here receiving this honour in the first place. I am going to work harder than I did last year to get to the Nationals which is the ultimate."
When asked what his motivation was, the award winner said “my passion and dedication towards my work did the trick and nothing else.”
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