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Ikechi Uko
Ikechi Uko

Akwaaba Set To Reward Tourism Stakeholders In Africa

Ebere Chibuzor

Akwaaba African Travel Market has concluded all arrangements to reward tourism stakeholders in the African continent at the 2016 edition of the travel awards.

The tourism event which kicked off on September 19th with the release of the questionnaire online for Africans to choose what they consider the best players on the Travel and Tourism Landscape in Africa is looking at rewarding players in various categories.

One of the categories is in the areas of sustainable tourism; that is any group or destination that is involved in best practices in Sustainable tourism as a way of encouraging others to emulate and improve. Libassa Ecolodge, Liberia, Rwanda Tourism, and Seychelles have already been nominated for the category.

Award will also be given in the best business class in Africa which is restricted only to African Airlines with Kenya Airways, South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines as nominees.

There is also an award in the best economy class in Africa restricted to only African Airlines with Kenya Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and RwandAir.

Award for airline with the Best in-flight service in Africa, restricted to only African airlines. Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, RwandAir have been nominated.

Akwaaba will also reward the most passenger friendly airport in Africa. According to the organisers, “this is self-explanatory and doesn’t go to the biggest or grandest Airport but to that Airport that provides the best travel experience to passengers. Banjul Airport, Gambia, OR Tambo Airport, Jo’burg, South Africa, Cape Town Airport, South Africa, Kotoka Airport, Accra Ghana and Lome Airport, Togo are the nominees.

Carla Da Silva of Air Mauritius and John Mirenge of RwandAir are the nominees for African Aviation Personality to portray an individual, an institution or product that best exemplifies great Aviation innovation or great value in Africa that has played a great role in growing Aviation in Africa

Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar and Turkish Airlines have been nominated for the Best Airline in Africa

Other categories are: Best short haul Airline in Africa, Best online Booking platform in Africa, Tourism Marketing Award, Best International Airline in Africa (for Non-African Airlines), Best Business Hotel in Africa, Best Resort in Africa.

Performances in Best African Hotel chain (owned by an African registered Company), Best Hotel chain in Africa (this is open to all hotels operating in Africa), Hotel of the year (all hotels qualify) and Best Tourism Minister in Africa will be recognised.

The list was put together by a pan African committee of Travel Professionals from different countries in Africa to be voted for by The public.

Africa Travel Awards promoted by the online Africa Travel News website www.atqnews.com will be having its 4th outing. The awards will be coming up on the 30th of October at the Travellers Night Dinner at Akwaaba African Travel Market.

22 awards will be given out . The committee members are drawn from East, West, South and central Africa and it is not surprising that most of the Nominees are from Sub Saharan Africa.

The committee members include…Denis Gathanju, a passionate journalist and photographer based in East Africa. He travels the length and breath of the continent to capture the very best of the African life, culture and sights. He is also a tourism promoter within the East African region. He is a founder of Safari Communications, a company that publishes national tourism guidebooks for a number of African countries as well as producing corporate marketing material for tourism companies in the private sector.

Sandra IDOSSOU is an Afropolitan hotelier, trainer, mystery shopper, consultant, writer, author, traveler, publisher who has been expatriate in 8 African countries since 2000. Very passionate about everything African, Quality of Service, Hospitality, Branding, Sales & Marketing, Communication, Consumers rights, Capacity Building especially among youth and entrepreneurs.

She has trained people in more than 21 African countries and have travelled across 31 countries in Africa and in all continents, a multi cultured person that speak 7 languages.

Her numerous travellings throughout Africa have made her realize the great opportunities the continent has and have become an advocate for anything than can positively brand Africa.

The company specialises on training for the hospitality and Service Industry on customer relationship, Sales, Marketing and Mystery Shopping. In Rwanda www.theservicemag.com publishes a free educative business magazine aimed at providing hands-on articles to business owners and top managers that support them in becoming more competitive. She also consults on Corporate Communication, branding and social media. She is a strong believer of Africa’s potential and a great advocate of all things “African”

Chiquita Afuluenu Johnson is the former National Tourism Consultant for the Republic of Liberia and CEO of West Tourism Management. Launched in 2015, this boutique tour operator is known for providing unique experiences in African destinations with special focus on luxury, responsible tourism, and tourism investment relations. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, along with a BSc in Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management from Penn State University, and an Advance Diploma in Travel & Tourism from The Institute of Travel & Tourism The Gambia, it is truly safe to say that hospitality and tourism is her greatest passion, most especially in the African context.

Monique Swart who is the Founder of the African Business Travel Association (ABTA). She has worked within the association environment for the corporate travel industry for 17 years after initially starting her career with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) in 1999. Monique is known as an expert ‘connector’ and assists travel professionals to build their network across Africa by connecting them with their peers and potential partners and clients through ABTA education and networking events. ABTA is the only association of its kind in Africa focusing purely on the Corporate travel industry and is active in Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Other members Include Ali Diouf, a Senegalese journalist, Sheikh Tejan an Experienced Tourism Administrator from The Gambia. Charity Githinju a travel expert based in Tanzania. Siphelele Luthuli is a travel consultant and communication expert from South Africa. Khomotso Kelsall also a South African Based Travel Consultant. From Uganda is Barbra Adoso a leading Tour Operator, Nancy Sam Quartey from Ghana. Other Tour Operators include Benin Republic based Olanma Ojukwu, Ms. Josephine Fifi Rurangwa, Rwandan national, born in Uganda, she is the Head of Africa Expansion of Wakanow.com. Kenya based Rwandan Operator. Rwanda based Catherine Mutuale, Nigeria based Atinuke Nwakohu. Kenyan Annet Nashipae are all Travel consultants

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