Today in a couple of hours I am attending the Regional Media Launch of the National Tourism Awards here in Kumasi.
The invitation reads:
“The Tourism Awards ceremony was instituted to reward deserving industry players in the rural, district and regional capitals whose activities have impacted positively on tourism development in Ghana.”
Well, no awards ceremony, national nor zonal, have been held since 2008 I believe. Needless to say, during this period, there were establishments and individuals deserving of recognition. But they received none. Why? Probably it had something to do with money, a lack thereof, to hold the events. Why, why does everything have to be an excuse for a party thus really driving up costs? What’s important is the award and the publicity value it has for the establishment or the individual!
Well, finally, the Ministry of Tourism along with the Ghana Tourism Authority is organizing an event: a National Tourism Award ceremony to be held in Accra in December, 2013. There’s another quote from the invitation letter that’s really grabbed my attention throwing me into a spin:
“The aim of this launch among others is to see for sponsorship and also sensitize the stakeholders and the general public on the event which has been slated for December 2013 in Accra.”
Hmmmm..what do I do? I have three considerations for awards. First and foremost, I hope that a Walking Tour category is created or perhaps it could be designated as Private Sector Tour Guide category. And, if so, I would like to nominate COMFORT OPOKU who works exclusively for FOUR VILLAGES INN and has been conducting tours to KUMASI CENTRAL MARKET for more than ten years. Wow, your should read her review book! She’s been great for business at FOUR VILLAGES INN…many who hear about her book at FOUR VILLAGES INN to be able to go on her tour!
Second, I hope that FOUR VILLAGES INN is nominated for the NATIONAL GUEST HOUSE OF THE YEAR AWARD. We been around a long time and have maintained our high standards since we opened on January 1, 2000. We are NO. 1 on Trip Advisor here in Ashanti BY FAR!
And lastly, I would be honored to be nominated as Intervener of the Year. That’s a euphemism for troublemaker, or to be more blunt shit-disturber! My intervention on the national scene has been a FACEBOOK and CHANGE.ORG campaign called SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA aimed at promoting tourism through visa simplification and facilitation. Simple, international leisure tourists entering Ghana for less than 30 days don’t require a visa.
While I’m happy that the National Awards will take place. Frankly, I’d like an Ashanti Awards Ceremony-no party-to recognize deserving establishments and individuals. It used to be regional and then it got changed to zonal (coastal, forest, savanna) and then it all collapsed. Why do we have to wait for the Ministry of Tourism and the National G.T.A. to organize everything? We have a regional GTA; we have an Ashanti Region Ghana Hotels Association and other regional associations….we can do things ourselves…enough….
until later…hope to have a picture or two….