By Taiye Olayemi
The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Friday received the best tourism governor award at the 2022 edition of the Nigeria Tourism Awards, also known as the Balearica Awards.
His deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, got a special recognition award, while the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, won the best tourism commissioner award.
Also, Mrs Taiye Olayemi, a Senior Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) won the best tourism journalist award.
Mr Efetobo Awhana, organiser of the Nigeria Tourism Awards, announced this during the awards presentation held at Radisson Blu Anchorage, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Awhana said that Sanwo-Olu had worked tirelessly in building infrastructure for the growth of tourism in the state, adding that this was highly commendable.
He urged the award recipients to intensify their efforts in promoting domestic tourism as the nation was well endowed with lots of potential to be explored and marketed.
“To further grow tourism, we need to appreciate those who grow the standards because the industry cannot grow without consistently raising the standard.
“I urge all recipients of this award to continue to spread the campaign for the promotion of domestic tourism, God has endowed us well enough.
“This is the only country with over 100 waterfalls, we should work more on propagating good news more than the bad ones, we shouldn’t be bad news mongers,” he said.
NAN reports that Chief Michael Adeojo got the special recognition award for tourism investment; Chief Abiodun Odusanwo bagged the tourism personality award; while Mr Tope Ogbeni-Awe got the lifetime achievement award.
The industry icon awards went to Chief Ayo Olumoko, Fidelia Salami, Amb. Kayode Adeshola, Solomon Bonu, Amb. Wale Ojo-Lanre and Mr Yinka Folami.
Funmi Oyatogun of Chappal Hike got the best tourism promotion initiative award, Irene Becker won the best tourism photography while Tobbinator got the best tourism video award.
The winners for the tourism industry icon awards are: Mrs Abiola Adelana from Sterling Bank; Mrs Abiola Ogunbiyi, Managing Director SJ Tours; Mr Ademola Sanya, Skal President in Lagos; Chuma Mgbojikwe, Former General Manager, Transcorp Calabar; Mrs Nanna Yakubu, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Quadri-Adu Kehinde.
Jibola Oluseye won the best tour guide award, Lagos Aviation Academy got the best training school, Motley Travels emerged the best domestic tour operator while the Women in Hospitality Nigeria got the best tourism association award.
The best business travel agency went to BTM, Aeroport travels got the best leisure travel agency award, while Wakanow emerged the best online travel agency.
Air Peace won the best domestic airline while Qatar Airways got the best international airline award.
For the hospitality and entertainment segment, Spice Route won the best Asian Restaurant, Radisson Blu Anchorage emerged the best International Chain Hotel while the Envoy Abuja, won the best business hotel.
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham emerged winner of the best family hotel, Sencillo won best resort, Ilaji hotel and sports resort bagged the best themed resort.
For the best fast-food chain award, Domino’s Pizza emerged winner, Park Vega Waterpark won the best family amusement centre, Jara Beach Resort won the best beach hotel while Radisson Blu Anchorage bagged the best luxury hotel award.
Best boutique hotel (less than) 50 ROOMS went to White Orchid Hotel, while the Envoy Abuja got the best boutique hotel (greater than) 50 ROOMS.
The special recognition in sports tourism went to Mr Deji Ajomale and Niyola Sports Management, while Access Bank got the most supportive brand in sports tourism.
The young tourism personality award went to Jibola Oluseye, another special recognition on tourism innovation award went to Aura by Transcrop. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Folasade Adeniran