Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Minister of Transport Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has both bagged the best Tourism Governor award and best tourism Minister respectively following their numerous contributions to the growth of domestic tourism.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.The Organisers 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.
Mr Efetobo 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.