Ghana successfully ended the Akwaaba African Travel Market, a travel and tourism fair, with the country emerging as the winner of the Best Stand award.
The country’s stand, set up by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) with a giant backdrop with images of Ghanaian dishes, eco tourism sites and a castle with the national flag sandwiched between a huge stool and an artifact that holds a wooden bowl, attracted a lot of attention.
Many patrons who visited the exhibition could not resist the urge to sit on the stool or pose with the national flag for a memorable photograph.
When organisers of the event opened the ballot for patrons and participants to vote for the best stand at the event, Ghana emerged the winner.
GTA sells Ghana
The acting Chief Executive of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, wooed Nigerian tourists with a presentation of some of the country’s tourism sites and attractions.
He said the country had 34 out of the world’s 36 heritage sites, and boasted numerous sites for adventure tourism.
The country, he added, was safe and secured even at night, saying: “Even at midnight, you can walk freely in town without any fear.”
He outlined the various attractions, including forts and castles, the Mole National Park and its wild animals, including the elephants and the country’s cuisines.
“We have a comprehensive package that can serve tour operators. It is a getaway destination for you,” he said.
On the difficulties experienced in traveling through the sub-region, especially at the Benin-Nigeria border, Mr Agyeman said the GTA would take the issue up with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Having traveled by road to Nigeria where the delegation of GTA management and staff, tour operators and the media had to endure hours of frustration at the Seme border, he said it was time “the ECOWAS on paper reflected the reality on the road.”
The Manager for Special Events of GTA, Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, told the Daily Graphic that the idea of participating in fairs was to get market intelligence.
He said Ghana’s presence was also to maintain a presence and remain relevant given that some of the continents and the world’s top destinations, including South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Dubai were at the event.
Among Ghanaian companies that participated in the exhibition were Africa World Airline (AWA), Oak Plaza Hotel and the Royal Senchi Hotel.
The Sales and Marketing Manager of AWA, Ms Victoria Abena Takyi, said the Akwaaba platform had been worth it in the last three years that the company had participated.