By Taiye Olayemi
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has bagged the best Tourism Governor award following his numerous contributions to the growth of domestic tourism in the state.
This was announced during the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Tourism award ceremony, known as the Belearica Awards, organised virtually by the Nigeria Travel Week.
Mr Efetobo Awhana, Organiser of the event, disclosed that Gov. Sanwo-Olu deserved the award because he is the only Governor to establish a tourism support fund following the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the industry.
Awhana said that the Governor also prioritised tourism policies among some other positive tourism initiatives implemented in the state.
“The 2020 Nigeria Tourism award recognises those tourism firms and individuals who have gone out of their way to boost domestic tourism while COVID-19 ravaged the world.
“2020 was indeed a difficult year for every practitioner in the tourism industry, yet many individuals went out of their way to ensure that the industry thrived amidst all odds,” he said.
Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, also got special recognition award for tourism infrastructures due to his contributions towards improving the transportation system in Nigeria, especially the railway.
Awhana said this was crucial to the growth of tourism in Nigeria.
Special recognition award for tourism innovation went to Skyview Communications; Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General of the
National Park Service bagged special recognition for essential duties while Mr Adeyanju Lipede was rewarded for tourism investment.
Sterling Bank was given special recognition award for tourism support as some other individuals were recognised as tourism industry Icons – Mrs Susan Akporaiye, Mr Gani Balogun.
Others were: Mrs Bunmi Aremu, Mrs Tinuke Nwakohu, Dr Raphael James, Mrs Bimbo Durosinmi-Etti and Folorunsho Coker.
Dr Adebisi Obawale, the Osun State Commissioner for Tourism, got the best Tourism Commissioner award.
Awhana announced other winners of the Nigeria Tourism Awards as:
Best Dinning Restaurant – Maison Kayser
Best Premium Dinning Restaurant – ZKitchen
Best Ethnic Restaurant – Tamberma Ibadan
Best Tourism Attraction – Onikan House Lagos
Best Family Amusement Centre – Upbeat Centre
Best Travel Blog – Zee Goes
Best Tourism Photography – Blessed Emmanuel
Best Tourism Video – The Unofficial Omotayo
Best Travel Television Programme – Goge Africa
Best Travel Radio Programme – Jordan 105.5 FM
Best Tourism Journalist – Wale Olapade
Best Domestic Tour Operator – Angel Style World Travels
Best Leisure Travel Agency – Brisk Travels
Best Business Travel Agency – Business Travel Management
Best Tour Guide – Bethel Moseglad
Best Tourism Promotion Initiative – Work and Play
Young Tourism Personality of the Year – Omotoke Fatoki
Lifetime Achievement Award – Chief Mike Amachree and Jemi Alade
Royal Support for Tourism – Oba Ademola Folakanmi, Alado of Ado Awaye
Best Boutique Hotel of less than 50 rooms – L’eola Hotel Lagos
Best Boutique Hotel of more than 50 rooms – The Envoy, Abuja
Best International Chain Hotel – Radisson Blu Anchorage, Lagos
Best Resort – La Campagne Tropicana
Best Independent Brand Hotel – Transcorp Hotel, Calabar
Best Hotel Suite – Federal Palace Hotel and Casino
Best Beach Hotel – Jara Beach Resort
Best Luxury Hotel – The Envoy, Abuja
Best Tourism Support Media – Television Continental News (TVC)
Best Tourism Destination – Badagry.