Ghanaian indigenous media brand, Voyages Afriq Media, has been adjudged the ‘Outstanding Africa Tourism Media’ at the maiden Africa Tourism Leadership Awards in Accra.
The company shrugged off competition from Katchie Nzama of South Africa and Kehinde Oluwadamilare of Discoveria from Nigeria, to win the coveted prize after distinguishing itself with continuous provision of significant tourism information on its flagship website and magazine, Voyages Afriq.
The event was held on August 31, 2018, to climax the maiden Africa Tourism Leadership Forum, under the auspices of the Africa Tourism Partners (ATP) in collaboration with the Tourism Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
It saw many successful tourism businesses and individuals emerging winners for their contributions to the growth of sustainable tourism on the continent.
The Africa Tourism Leadership Forum (ATLF) is a pan-African dialogue that congregates key stakeholders from Africa’s travel and tourism industry to network and share ideas on sustainable development across the continent.
The forum, among other things, is aimed at providing a permanent platform for innovative leadership dialogue to drive sustainable growth in Africa’s tourism industry.
There were representatives from countries including South Africa, Kenya, Burundi, Nigeria, Seychelles and many more.
CEO of the GTA, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, explained the awards were to motivate individuals and organizations to do more towards contributing to the success of tourism on the continent.
He said “the bigger picture was to bring together tourism experts and stakeholders from different countries to share innovative ideas on how to drive tourism to a more greater height.”
He explained that the event was also meant to promote ‘Brand Africa’ and to encourage travels within the continent by tourists and individuals.
“It is important that African citizens patronize destinations on the continent in order to offer that leverage for nationals of other continents to visit. We are the ones that can market what we have and this forum provides that platform for us to know what other countries on the continent have to offer.”
A Professor of Tourism at the University of Brighton, Professor Marina Novelli who was a speaker at the event, stated that Africa’s tourism landscape has a lot more to offer in diversity, compared to what other continents have.
“What must be done is the aggressive marketing of destinations to bring more visitors here. There is more to know about the continent than the Safaris, and wildlife” she said.
Winners in other categories of the awards include, ‘Leading in Progressive Policies’ – Rwanda Development Board, ‘Outstanding Entrepreneurship’ – Kehinde Micheal Oluwadamilare of Discoveria, ‘Women in Leadership’ – Carmen Nibigira, Burundi, ‘Championing Sustainability’ – Wilderness Safaris, South Africa, ‘Most Innovative Business Tourism Destination’ – South Africa.
Others were, ‘Outstanding Accommodation Facility/Group’ – SABI SABI Private Game Reserve – South Africa, ‘Outstanding Tourism Transportation’ – Ethiopian Airlines, and ‘Destination Africa Lifetime Award’ – Late Professor Wangari Muta Maathai, Kenya.
Some personalities present at the event were Tourism Minister, Catherine Afeku, the Minister for Tourism, Seychelles Didier Dogley, CEO of ATP Kwakye Donkor and several others.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe