Sterling Bank Plc has been honoured with the Special Recognition Award for Tourism Support at the 2021 edition of the Nigeria Tourism Awards, also known as The Balearica Awards.
The Nigeria Tourism Awards recognises and celebrates exemplary and outstanding individuals and organisations in the country’s tourism sector.
Presenting the award to the bank, Efetobo Awhana, CEO of the Balearica Awards, acknowledged Sterling Bank’s deliberate intervention in the tourism industry in 2020. He said that the bank’s announcement of a dedicated fund for the tourism sector was timely and similar to stimulus packages of countries like Switzerland, Japan and Mexico.
“The Balearica, named and designed after the Crowned Crane – once voted the national bird of Nigeria, has become the icon of excellence for the Nigerian tourism industry. The Special Recognition Award for Tourism Support honours the non-tourism brand that has had the most deliberate impact on the growth of tourism in Nigeria in 2020,” Awhana stated.
Last year, immediately after the COVID-19 induced lockdown was lifted, Sterling Bank pledged N10 billion as an intervention fund for the domestic tourism sector. The Bank’s CEO, Abubakar Suleiman, committed the funds while addressing players in the tourism value chain at a session organised by the Nigerian Tourism Corporation (NTDC) on reimagining tourism. Months after, the Osun State Government honoured the bank with the Institution Award of Excellence for its role in the accelerated delivery of the Osun Sterling Tourism vision 30-30 and masterplan.
Receiving the special recognition award, Shina Atilola, Divisional Head, Retail and Consumer Banking, expressed delight that the sector immediately recognises, rewards, and celebrates the bank’s commitment to tourism development.