Ghana shone in more ways than one at this year’s China Outbound Travel and Tourism (COTTM) fair in Beijing.
Besides the singular honour of being offered a special forum to meet with tour operators, investors and the Chinese media, Ghana was one of a select few that came up for honours.
Of the 16 awards presented at the Chinese Tourism Welcome Awards ceremony, Apstar Tours Limited, a Ghanaian internationally reputed tour operator, picked up the bronze in the category of product innovation.
The accompanying citation mentioned Apstar’s innovation in presenting its products in Chinese language and using Chinese speaking staff to interact with its clients.
There were awards in other categories, namely service quality, marketing and internet/media.
Receiving the Apstar award, Mr K Agyepong Appenteng, Director of Operations, thanked the organisers for the honour, saying it served as a great impetus to the company’s efforts to attract international traffic to Ghana. He also thanked Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts for facilitating the involvement of the private sector in international fairs.
In an interview with the media later, Mrs Stella Appenteng, Founder and Managing Director of Apstar, was grateful that the efforts of the company had attracted ‘the attention of the movers and shakers of the tourism world.’
She pledged that Apstar would not rest on its laurels, but would use this award as a spur to ride further and higher up.
An elated Ghana’s Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, congratulated Apstar, remarking that its years of hard work, consistency and creativity had paid off.
She said the ministry was enjoying co-operation from the private sector in the overall national effort to make Ghana attractive to international tourists and thereby increase both arrivals and receipts.
She said it was significant that the award was being given on Chinese soil, commenting that ‘the China market is one that no country with an eye for the tourist dollar can ever afford to ignore.’
By Enimil Ashon (Back from Beijing)
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