Written by Adie Vanessa Offiong
Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja has won the hosting rights for this year’s edition of the ‘Oscars of the Travel Industry,’ World Travel Awards (WTA) for Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony.
Following pitches from several hotels across five other countries, Transcorp Hilton was nominated to host the African and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony of the award at the Congress Hall of the hotel on September 5.
Managing director and chief executive officer of Transnational Hotels and Tourism Service, owners of Transcorp Hotel, Mr. Valentine Ozigbo, said: “It is a welcome opportunity to host the prestigious Awards which is coming soon after a successful hosting of the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF).
He added that: “This provides us another opportunity to showcase the best of Nigerian hospitality and reinforce the position of Transcorp Hilton Abuja as the choice destination for high profile events.”
Hosted by the Kenya Tourism Board last year where the hotel also won the award, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, said Nigeria’s hosting of the event would further launch the country into a prestigious club of prime global hospitality destinations.
“Abuja is emerging as a frontline convention destination in Africa. We feel proud to host this important gathering, the first of its kind in Nigeria,” Duke said.
With arrangements in top gear, to ensure that the hotel delivers a world-class experience at the ceremony, Hilton’s general manager, Etienne Gailliez, said the hotel is poised to replicate its recent achievement in WEF and make the hosting of the event a memorable one.
With voting still on-going till July 1 for a winner, Graham Cooke, president and founder, WTA, said: “I am delighted we will be visiting Nigeria for the first time for what promises to be the most exciting and competitive ceremony yet.”
IkechiUko, one of Nigeria’s leading travel professionals, commented that, it is a great thing for Nigeria that the WTA is finally coming to Abuja:“Bringing it to West Africa helps the Award prove that it is a continent-wide event and not one of those briefcase events contrived in London and force-fed to gullible Africans desirous of endorsements.”