Many Ghanaian tour operators, hoteliers and other professionals in the hospitality industry on Wednesday expressed interest in listing their products online with an international travel portal called Expedia Inc.
The listing on Expedia Inc exposes Ghana’s hospitality industry to more than 58 million visitors around the world in a month and gives the country’s tourism industry an advantage over other West African destinations.
Mr Diego Lofeudo, Director in charge of Eastern, Mediterranean and Africa regions at Expedia, explained that many travellers in Europe and America now did bookings online and were able to pay for hospitality services from the comfort of their homes.
However, he said, it had been difficult finding the suitable hospitality services that people needed in Ghana and Africa as a whole on line, hence the establishment of a local office in Ghana where people in the industry could easily subscribe and get listed.
Mr Lofeudo said this at a seminar organized by his organization in collaboration with Apstar Tours Limited, a hospitality company in Ghana, to discuss the venture with operators in the industry.
He said Expedia also gave hospitality clients an opportunity to dialogue with the management of facilities about the services they enjoyed and also enable them to monitor how their facility was doing in terms of standards.
“This is a tool that inspires travellers to find what they are looking for,” Mr Lofeudo said, adding that it provided a win-win situation.
Mr Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, said the government recognized the need for partnership between the public and private sector.
“We need the private sector, just as much as we need to develop tourism,” he said.
He, therefore, urged practitioners in the industry to demonstrate professionalism in providing information, transport, accommodation, food, entertainment, recreational and tour guiding services to tourists.
Nana Adjei Twinin, President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), lauded the venture and urged other facility owners who have not yet hooked unto the service to do so to improve Ghana’s tourism.