The 4th edition of Accra Weizo, an annual B2B travel, tourism & hospitality industry trade show opened with a bang on June 22, 2018 at the La-Palm Royal Beach Resort in Accra, Ghana.
Shortly after a brisk tea & coffee breakfast participants and guests settled in for the opening session of the day, the forum on aviation which kicked off at about 10:30am.
On the panel were the MD of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi; Alex Nwuba, CEO of Ghana-based Smile Airlines, Richard Kyereh of Africa World Airlines (AWA), Chike Ogeah, Vice-Chairman of SAHCOL; as well as representatives of Ethiopian Airlines and Nigeria-based Air Peace, as they tackled issues such as: Why West African Airlines fail Easily and the Future, Interlining In West Africa: A Possibility or Mirage? Integrating West African Airport System, etc. under the topic “Harnessing the Opportunities of the Aviation Value Chain in West Africa.”
One of the key reasons behind the initiation of Accra Weizo was to facilitate “seamless travel in West Africa” and four years down the road, it seems that dream has received a major fillip as three key airline operators who were on the panel, (Sanusi, Nwuba and Kyereh) have decided to work out an interlining agreement to ease air travel.
Later in the day, the second session which was centred on the standardisation in the hospitality industry threw up a ‘controversy’ which immediately went viral. During the discussions, the MD of Golden Tulip, Accra stated that there are no chefs in Ghana, only cooks. The statement which has since been clarified was a made to buttress his point on deciding the yardstick for standardisation, and actually points to the fact that, if the chefs were to be graded according to international standard, they will fall short because there are no training institutes in the country for chefs.
In between the very rich and invigorating sessions, guests were treated to robust performances by the formidable Ghana Queens and excitingCarnival Calabar girls. The Balafon Awards presentation also took place and among the list of winners was: Stella Fubara, Director of Dubai Tourism (Africa) who bagged the Tourism Personality of the Year in West Africa.
Other winners include: Carnival Calabar – Tourism Event of the Year, Hon. Catherine Afeku – Tourism Minister of the Year, Captain Ado – Aviation Man of the Year, Mrs. Uloma Egbuna, MD Tour Brokers International – Tourism Man of the Year, and Hon Cecilia Dappah – Aviation Minister of the Year, among others.
On Day 2, the event featured a series of engaging presentations by Dubai Tourism, South Africa Tourism, Air Peace, Carnival Calabar, while there was an interactive session that followed as discussants evaluated the roles of traditional media and the effects of influencers/celebrities on destination marketing. There were more performances by the Ghana Queens and Carnival Calabar girls, while the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) was on hand to fete guests with enough to eat and drink. The event which took place inside the Adae Kesie Hall witnessed an impressive turn out.
BY NIYI DAVID