The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is fashioning out a nationwide training programme to boost the competency of industry players for efficient service delivery. The programme, targeting hotel and restaurant operators, as well as service providers, is part of efforts to inject professionalism in the activities of stakeholders for sustainable tourism development.
Mr. Ekow Sampson, the Ashanti Regional Manager of the GTA, said non-adherence to professional ethics and standards, resulting in poor service delivery had been the bane of most tourist facility operators and owners.
Addressing the Regional Tourism Awards ceremony at Obuasi, Mr Sampson said the Authority believed in the tourism potentials of the nation. For this reason, it would not relent in upgrading the expertise of industry players to help overcome challenges in their work.
This year’s awards on the theme; “Excellence in Service Delivery – a Key to Sustainable Tourism”, saw more than 25 individuals and corporate institutions being honoured in recognition of their immense contributions in marketing, promoting and developing the tourism industry.
Mr. Kizito Cudjoe, a Reporter of the Business and Financial Times (BFT), emerged the Best Regional Tourism Writer of the Year, while the BFT and UTV were also recognised for their commitment to advancing the cause of tourism.
The awardees received certificates and citations for their hard work. Mr. Sampson described domestic tourism in the Region over the years as very encouraging, with visits to the Manhyia Palace Museum, Rattray Park, and other interesting sites.
The Museum, for instance, has since last year recorded more than 40, 000 visits with corresponding increase in revenue generated by the facility. In addition, there has been upsurge in hospitality facilities, and this has also created jobs for the people to improve their wellbeing.
Mr. Ben Anane-Nsiah, the GTA Officer in-charge of Special Events, advised stakeholders in the industry to endeavour to comply with all regulatory policies and laws governing tourism for their own benefit.
These include payment of the one per cent tourism levy, prompt renewal of operational licenses and registration of new facilities to help regularise their activities.
Mr. John Alexander Ackon, the Regional Minister, lauded the awardees for their exemplary work, and entreated them to be focused on developing the tourism industry.