African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), has released the list of winners of the 2019 edition of the prestigious Balafon Awards who will be honoured at the 5th Accra Weizo scheduled for June 2019.

The Balafon Awards of Excellence is annually organized as part of the West African travel and tourism fair, Accra Weizo, to recognize leading industry players within the ECOWAS region. This year, the focus of the Balafon Awards is on the leading and best conference facilities in West Africa. Winners in the various categories were selected from a list of nominations which ended on June 3, 2019.

The 5th Accra Weizo is a collaborative venture between its initiators, Akwaaba Travel Market and Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). Last year, at the World Travel Market (WTM London), the GTA signed a 5 year MOU with Akwaaba Travel Market to effect a bigger and better Accra Weizo. Prior to the MOU, the tourism expo had been organized for the past four years by Akwaaba Travel Market. The event is scheduled for June 28th and 29th.

Earlier in Accra this week, the GTA and stakeholders launched the 2019 Women In Tourism Summit along with Accra Weizo. The summit which is in its second year, has as its theme: Empowering Women in Ghana’s Tourism Industry. It is scheduled for June 27, preceding Accra Weizo which takes place on June 28 and 29.

Deputy Executive Director (Finance & Administration) of the GTA, Isaac Adomako–Mensah, said both the summit and fair have become part of the major events to promote tourism in the country since their inception. He noted that the fair was geared towards getting West Africans to cooperate with each other, while creating a seamless travel environment in the region by bringing together travel professionals to network in Accra.

The GTA will host delegates on a 3-day familiarization tour of the Greater Accra, Western and Central regions from June 25 to 27. Some of the places to see include Nzulezu, Ankasa Conservation Area, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Secondi European Town, and the Cape Coast Castle.

2019 BALAFON Awards Winners (West African Travel & Tourism)

  • Travel Personality of the Year in West AfricaChief Allen Onyeama (AirPeace)
  • Tourism Man of the Year in West AfricaOtunba Segun Runsewe- DG, Nigeria Council For Art and Culture
  • Aviation Man of the Year in West AfricaCaptain Solomon Quianoo (Ghana)
  • Hotel Personality of the Year in West AfricaAmaechi Ndili – Golden Tulip West Africa
  • Best Airline in West Africa – African World Airline (AWA)
  • Best Hotel in West AfricaKempinski Goldcoast City Hotel
  • Best Airport in West Africa (for government agencies) Kotoka International Airport, Ghana
  • Best Ground Handling Company in West AfricaSkyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL)
  • Best Tourism Marketing Agency in West AfricaGhana Tourism Authority
  • Best Tourism Event of the Year in West AfricaCarnival Calabar, Nigeria

Top twenty (20) Conference centers in West Africa

  • Accra International Conference Centre, Ghana
  • Kempinski Goldcoast City Hotel, Ghana
  • La Palm Royal Beach, Accra, Ghana.
  • Movenpick Ambassador Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  • Labadi Hotel, Accra, Ghana
  • Alisa Hotel North ridge, Ghana.
  • Abuja International Conference Centre , Nigeria
  • Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Abuja Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, Nigeria
  • Eko Hotel & Suites Convention Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  • The Landmark Centre, Lagos, Nigeria.
  • Muson Centre, Lagos, Nigeria
  • King Fahd Palace Hotel, Dakar, Senegal.
  • Salle de conference, Dakar, Senegal.
  • Kairaba Beach Hotel, Gambia
  • Coral Beach, Brufut, Gambia.
  • Palais des Congress, Cotonou, Benin.
  • Hotel du 2 Fevrier, Lome Togo.
  • Sofitel Abidjan Hotel I’voire, Abidjan
  • Hotel President, Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire

Sourced from

Niyi David

‘Niyi David is a travel writer/photographer and Editor-in-Chief at More Cream Than Coffee. Previously, he worked at Afro Tourism West Africa Ltd as a travel writer, and was Head of Media and C.O.O. before leaving in May 2018. Prior to that he had worked as scriptwriter on some major media projects in Nigeria, such as 'Peak Talent Show' and the Ford Foundation sponsored 'Stop Impunity in Nigeria' campaign.