President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been honoured at the 4th Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) Awards for demonstrating visionary leadership by declaring the ‘Year of Return’ and ensuring its successful execution.
Nineteen hotels were also awarded at the event with some special awards being given to certain personalities, who had significantly contributed to the success of the hotel industry.
Labadi Beach Hotel was adjudged the Five Star Hotel of the year, with Royal Senchi Hotel also emerging as winner in the Four Star Hotel category at the ceremony which came off last Saturday in Accra on the theme: “Reducing hotel rates in Ghana: Role of government and hotel operators.”
Other four and five star hotel winners were Kempinski Hotel, Front of House Team of the year and Housekeeping Team of the year; Tang Palace Hotel won Food and Beverage Team of the year, with Movenpick Hotel emerging the Most Secure Hotel of the year.
Sogakope Beach Resort won the Three Star Hotel of the year, while Hotel Stevens won in the Two Star Category. Eastgate Hotel also received the Two Star Hotel of the year award.
Coconut Grove Beach Resort also won the most award in the Two and Three Star categories by winning the Front of House Team of the year and the Conference & Banqueting Team of the year.
The rest of the awardees under the Two and Three Star category were Oak Plaza Hotel, Housekeeping Team of the year; Golden Bean Hotel, Food and Beverage team of the year; African Regeant Hotel, Green Hotel of the year, while Akayet Hotel won the Most Secure Hotel award.
The event, characterised by glitz and glamour, brought together many stakeholders in the hospitality industry across the country, including some government officials such as the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, and other political figures.
The occasion was fused with a good dose of musical, cultural dance and other performances. There were also performances by some renowned musicians in the country.
The citation presented to President Akufo-Addo captured how the President demonstrated empathic leadership by promoting domestic tourism through the policy that ensured an expansion of the tourism and hospitality market in the country.
In addition, it said President Akufo-Addo also demonstrated foresight by declaring “Beyond the Return” to expand and harness the Ghanaian Diaspora dividends for the economic development of the nation in line with the Ghana Beyond Aid policy.
President Akufo-Addo, in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief of Staff, Mrs Frema Osei Opare, expressed gratitude to the GHA for recognising his effort to promote the sector by bestowing on him such an honour.
He said through the declaration, last year undoubtedly became a monumental one for the tourism industry, as there was a steady flow of visitors, rising to a crescendo in December.
He observed that throughout the year, businesses across the value chain —?airlines, hotels, car rentals and restaurants — all reported significant growth in numbers.
“Through this initiative, backed by a strong marketing push, we have seen a year-on-year increase in hotel occupancy rates. Some hotels are on record to have experienced more than double the occupancy they had the year before. I urge you to be alive to the opportunity for the growth and collaboration that initiatives such as this present,” President Akoto-Addo added.
For her part, the sector minister said the GHA was a major contributor to the development of the hospitality sector in the country, indicating that its economic benefits to the nation could not be overemphasised in terms of foreign exchange earnings, employment, as well as revenue to the state from taxation.
“The expected growth of the tourism sector is to more than double the tourism revenues by the year 2027 from its current $2.2 billion. The role of the accommodation sector in all these services arrangements is very important and desire for reduction and harmonisation of pricing in the hotel industry is very paramount in the competitive era in the hospitality sector,” Mrs Oteng-Gyasi stated.
She added that with the successful celebration of the “Year of Return,” it was the core objective of the tourism sector to support and promote the country’s hospitality industry in terms of its cuisine, services, facilities and entertainment to clients at affordable rates.