Organisers of the Nigeria Tourism Awards have introduced a new scoring system and increased the awards categories for the 2020 edition.
Efetobo Awhana, the organiser and Chief Executive Officer of The Balearica Awards, said in a statement that the new scoring system replaced previous process whereby winners emerged through public nomination and voting.
He said the new awards scoring system required that every potential winner would now be scored by inspectors on a set criteria for their entered category.
He noted that this would give the entrants better chance to win the prestigious award based on merit as against depending on the limited knowledge of the public about their current or previous state.
According to him, the next edition of the award has been slated for Feb. 6, 2021.
“To raise the quality of the awards process, the organisers of the Nigeria Tourism Awards have used the downtime occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic to research and carry out surveys of the entire awards process.
“The most significant outcome of that study is the change to an award scoring system which eliminates the chances of particular brands continuously winning due to long entrenched public sentiments.
“At a time when there is increased attention for tourism around Nigeria, especially with the impact of COVID-19 on the national income and the need to diversify the economy, the competition for the awards is expected to be very keen.
“We are excited and looking forward to honouring the winners whose contributions and professionalism represent the hope we have for a thriving tourism industry in Nigeria,” he said.
Nnena Fakoya-Smith, Project Coordinator of the awards, said that the Nigeria Tourism Awards seek to remain as the most prestigious award celebrating innovation and excellence in Nigeria’s tourism industry.
“It is a strong platform to showcase the work of the best of the industry and promote outstanding brands and stakeholders,” she said.
Fakoya-Smith said that 10 of the awards categories for 2020 will go to individuals who have been outstanding in their contribution to the growth of domestic tourism in Nigeria.
“These categories include the Tourism Personality of the Year, Royal Support for Tourism, Best Tourism Commissioner and the Best Tourism Governor.
“There will also be special recognition awards for tourism investment, tourism support, tourism infrastructure and essential duties for public sector players who excel in tourism allied sectors like the police, immigration, parks and more,” she said.
According to Olanrewaju Samson, Activations Director for the awards, the best tourism commissioner will be judged based on the overall scores of the state-owned attractions.
Samson said this was to encourage the commissioners to be more attentive to the quality of their attractions which is critical to the growth of tourism.
“The Best Tourism Governor Award will go to the governor with the most friendly policies towards tourism and the travel trade, and who has shown the most commitment in providing infrastructure for tourism,” he said
He said the fourth edition of the Awards will hold on Feb. 6, 2021 to allow for an extended inspection period until December 2020.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that previous winners of the prestigious awards include the former Lagos State Governor, Akinwumi Ambode and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.
Others were: Mr Bankole Bernard, Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Mr Femi Adefope, Eko Hotel, Senator Ibrahim Ida (Sardaunan Katsina), Port Harcourt Pleasure Park, Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, Air Peace, La Campagne Tropicana, Travelstart and Shiro, amongst others.