Ghana's tourism sector was adjudged the best in Marketing at the "Chinese Tourists Welcoming Award" given to organizations that provide exemplary services to Chinese travellers outside China.
The Award, which was instituted by the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI), has been recognized as the most important quality sign for international Chinese outbound market.
Professor Wolfgang Georg Arlt of COTRI, who presented the award to Ghana's Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, told the Ghana News Agency that Ghana's tourism sector was among the most active organizations in Africa in terms of marketing tourism potentials.
He said he was impressed by the fact that most of the private tour operators in Ghana had developed websites in Chinese and had Chinese language materials for potential Chinese tourists.
Prof Wolfgang said receiving the award meant that more Chinese tourists would choose Ghana over other destinations for quality tourism experience.
He announced that from next year award winners would receive a quality label that would help them promote themselves as quality destination.
He noted that Africa was the fastest growing destination for Chinese tourists, adding that last year alone Africa received 36 percent more Chinese tourists.
Other awards were given to Ethiopia, German Tourists Board, Lithuania, India Tourism and some individual organizations in the United States.
Award winners also become automatic club members of COTRI.
Mr Asamoah-Boateng, receiving the award, said Ghana was a peaceful country and had been branded the Gateway to Africa.
"Ghana is at the centre of the world," he said, and urged more tourists, especially Chinese, to visit Ghana at least once in their lifetime.
The Minister presented kente to COTRI as a token of Ghana's appreciation.
In a related development Ghanaian tourism practitioners participating in an exhibition in China, the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations and the Ghana Tourist Board have received maximum attention from other exhibitors and visitors to the China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market (COTTM) exhibition currently going on in Beijing.
The Ghanaian officials were overwhelmed by hundreds of people who thronged the stands to taste Ghanaian food such as Jollof rice, kelewele and khebab and other delicious cuisine that were on display.
Mrs Bridgette Katsriku, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations and Mrs Gifty Kwansah, Head of Marketing at the Ghana Tourist Board, coordinated the events.
The Exhibitors wore colourful Kente and danced to highlife tunes which attracted a lot of people to the stand. Many came asking if they could get copies of the highlife songs.
The exhibitors also presented kente to their interpreters to enable them to add a Ghanaian touch to their job.
The attractiveness of the Ghana shed made exhibitors from other countries to abandon their stands to visit the Ghana stand and enjoy with their Ghanaian counterparts.
One Chinese visitor the GNA spotted enjoying the jollof rice told the interpreter at the Tourist Board stand that "if you do not visit the Ghana stand, you did not attend the COTRI fair."