Following up on the heels of the recent recognition of his “relentless efforts and contribution to the promotion and development of tourism in Ghana” at the Greater Accra regional tourism awards, accomplished communications practitioner and cultural concierge, PaJohn Bentsifi Dadson, was last Friday presented with the ‘Tourism Journalist of the Year, 2016’ award at the Ghana Tourism Authority’s national event.
The award came with a trip to the beautiful island country of Sao Tome, donated by TAP Air Portugal.
The writer of the ‘Guy About Town’ column, “Bentsifi’s Tattle”, in ‘The Mirror’ newspaper started his writing career in 1992 as a reporter at The Ghanaian Chronicle.
With a penchant for the arts and culture, PaJohn’s work was always skwewed towards the arts, entertainment and tourism narratives.
Back to continue his education in communications in England in the early 1990s, he secured a ‘Diary’ column in Sydney Casley-Hayford’s “Ghana Weekly News” published out of London, covering and highlighting the burgeoning industry of the Ghanaian community in the UK.
On his return home to Ghana in 1995, after successfully securing training and tertiary certificates in PR, as well as in journalism and sociology, taking courses at the London University’s Berbeck College, he rejoined the Chronicle starting his column “Bentsifi’s Dairy” in the newly launched ‘Weekend Chronicle’.
With the resurgence of radio in the country, PaJohn was the first to promote an agenda to spotlight culture and entertainment highlight in the new medium with the weekly program “Bukom Sq” on Groove FM, as well as on other discussion panels on Radio Gold and Joy FM.
Over the next twenty years, beside establishing himself as a hands-on public relations practitioner, he initiated the Accra Visitor Centre, the capital’s first privately run Ghana Tourist Board approved citywide tourist information centre on Accra’s busy Ring Road Central, next to the popular Bus Stop Restaurant.
There, with the knowledge and insights acquired from his arts and tourism bias journalism, he provided up to date and accurate tourist information to the many visitors and local residents who relied on his expert information.
When the Weekend Chronicle folded, his deft skills were quickly whisked up by Haruna Atta’s “The Accra Mail”, where he continued the diary column and culture reportage, before joining “Ovation West Africa” as assistant editor.
Fulfilling his desire to get a degree, he enrolled on the entrepreneurship course at GIMPA in 1997 and also moved to start “Bentsifi’s Tattle”, which column still runs weekly in ‘The Mirror’ from the Graphic stable.
Instituted by the Ghana Tourism Authority, the awards seek to reward establishments and individuals whose operations within the tourism sector seek to uphold high standards. This year’s awards were under the theme “Advancing the Gains of Tourism through Quality Service Delivery”.
PaJohn, who continues to be engaged in other exploits to promote domestic tourism, the initiator and coordinator of the “See Ghana” crusade which seeks to encourage more local participation in tourism.
A media campaign which includes the organization of the popular “WangoWango” road trips to various attractions and destinations in all regions, the “See Ghana” crusade is poised to take off for a third year in an even bigger way.