Accra, Sept. 20, GNA – Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister for Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, has said that if the tourism and the hospitality industry is to realize its full potential, professional development must be made paramount for amongst all stakeholders.
She said there are clear signs that education and training support are very important to the tourism and hospitality industry.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said this at the launch of the nationwide tourism and hospitality training programme for practitioners on Monday, in Accra.
She said the travel and tourism industry has been proclaimed as the fastest growing industry globally and in Ghana it is fourth highest foreign exchange earner, an employment generator as well as an industry with a high multiplier effect.
She said tourism and the hospitality establishments today and in the future would have to respond to two main challenges, including high cost of doing business and increased customer expectations of expeditious delivery of quality service.
“The solution to these challenges lies in increased productivity, by increasing efficiency. Productivity is a human resource issue, and holds the key to organisational productivity, all other factors make productivity possible but people make it happen.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the cardinal objective of businesses in the industry is to serve people who are basically away from home, and employees or workers in every facet of hospitality affects the guest’s experience in one way or the other.
“It is, therefore, imperative that guest experience in one way or the other is not marred because of its impact, and without proper training employee-guest encounter can really go off track, saying training in the sector should therefore be multi-dimensional”, she said.
The Sector Minister said the programme would cover areas including host reception, service quality and timing, food and beverage quality and service, billing and payment, and adherence for housekeeping standards.
She said currently a lot of skill gaps are bridged through education and training and once they are bridged, the industry would be able to compete effectively by offering guests the ultimate care, concern and excellent professional service.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare called for a continuous education and training to upgrade and update knowledge, learning about best practices, sharpening skills and delivering high quality services to meet the changing demands and swiftly changing customer trends in the industry.
She urged practitioners to take advantage of the programme and enroll their staff since it is heavily subsidized by the Tourism Development Fund to enable them build a reputation for excellence.