Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has won the Balafon Award for Tourism Man of the Year for Nigeria and West Africa. It was a four-man race between him, the Minister of Tourism for Ghana, The Minister of Tourism for the Gambia and Obinna Ekezie the MD of Wakanow. This was based on the results released on Tuesday by the Award committee.
The Balafon Award committee made up of travel professionals and Journalists from Nigeria and Ghana approved the results for the best performers in travel and tourism for West Africa. The committee had earlier met and shortlisted nominees for the different award categories.
The shortlisted nominees were then exposed to public votes on Atqnews website and Facebook page. The online voting was done using Survey Monkey software. Atqnews Facebook page has 23000 followers and the newsletter has a weekly global audience of over a hundred thousand people.
Winners will be presented with award certificates at the Accra Weizo tourism event taking place in Ghana on July 15.
Governor Ayade did not only sustain the world-renowned Carnival Calabar in his first year in office, he also succeeded in raising the bar with new innovations. Cross River prides itself as having created the first authentic international carnival in Africa with participation from Africa and other parts of the world.
Governor Ayade introduced the first bikers’ parade, the first green carnival and delivered the largest crowd seen at the carnival for years.