The National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo has awarded Transcorp Hotels Plc with three awards of excellence, including the Outstanding MICE hotel in Nigeria (Transcorp Hilton); Outstanding international city hotel (Transcorp Hilton) and the outstanding leadership in hospitality operations and management qualities award given to MD/CEO, Transcorp, Valentine Ozigbo.
The National Tourism Transport Summit and Expo Gala Nite Award is the pinnacle of recognition for excellence, given to individuals and industries who have distinguished themselves in the area of hospitality services and promoting tourism locally and internationally.
The awards which were presented at a colourful ceremony, held at the Lagos-Osun hall of Transcorp Hilton, Abuja on Tuesday night, attracted A-list dignitaries across Nigeria.
Transcorp Hotels Plc. beat other nominees in the hospitality category, to clinch the three awards. Its exceptional hospitality services has resulted in the hotel emerging a giant in the hospitality industry.
Receiving the awards, Ozigbo thanked the organisers for the recognition, noting that he is proud to work with the best team in the hospitality business. He dedicated the awards to his team members whom he said work tirelessly to ensure customer satisfaction.
“In Transcorp Hotels, we’re not only serving our customers, but selling the city. We’ve been putting together tourism destinations. Our job will be made easier when the government plays their role,” he said.
He also recalled the strides of a former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke in marketing the tourism potential of that state, which eventually etched the Obudu Resort and other sites in the state on the global map.
Ozigbo used the opportunity to appeal to relevant ministries and agencies of government at the federal and state levels to spearhead the marketing of the tourism sector in Nigeria, saying that doing so would help in leapfrogging the sector into a major revenue earner.
He said: ‘‘If well harnessed, the tourism sector, with its vast potential, could displace oil as the nation’s highest revenue earner.’’
The secretary Transport secretariat, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Comrade Kayode Isiak Opeifa, commending the awardees for the deserved awards expressed government commitment to support tourism for local and international trade and also ensure that the condition of living is enhanced by providing the basic infrastructure.
He said: “For us to really encourage you to invest here, the city is also looking for more hotels and entertainment sectors and this is why the hotel entertainment industry is getting preferential treatment in the allocation of land.”
In the other awards, His Excellency, the Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and Hon Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammad got the awards of Excellence in leadership and ministerial award for excellence and innovation in public policy and governance in tourism, respectively.