Mr Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Minister of Tourism, at the weekend, said the Government was poised to increase tourist arrivals to the country from 74,800 to one million annually from 2011 to increase tourist receipts.
He said the Ministry had adopted pragmatic measures by addressing challenges of products development, packaging and marketing, accommodation and transportation to ensure the realisation of its objectives.
“I believe this will make a positive impact on the hospitality industry as visitors to the country for business and leisure cannot afford to miss cuisines prepared by the players in the industry,” he said.
Mr Acheampong said at the 24th Graduation Ceremony of the EKGS Culinary Institute for 120 graduants who received six weeks of vocational training.
It was on the theme: “Attaining a Middle Income Status – The Role of the Culinary Industry.”
He appealed to the graduates to adopt standard business practices to make them survive and thrive in the tourism business industry as Ghana’s hospitality industry was fast growing.
“Although competition is tough, I believe the most important thing you can do to be successful is plan, prepare, have willingness to work and be passionate about your career,” he advised.
Mr Acheampong urged the graduates to pay more attention to quality and tasty local dishes to make them more attractive and appealing to tourists.
Mrs Efua Goode-Arthur, Director of EKGS Culinary Institute, said the institute over the years had gone through many phases of development and was capable of rubbing shoulders with culinary service providers globally.
She said there was the need for culinary service providers to build their own capacities and be abreast with new trends in the industry since society is dynamic and keeps developing.
“It is only when we do this that we can keep up with new developments, methods and products, so that we are not consigned to the periphery of the industry for foreigners to have a field’s day,” she said.
She called on the Government to consider waiving the taxes on the tools and equipment used in the culinary sub-sector to be affordable and to help solve unemployment problems.
Mrs Arthur advised the graduates to emulate their predecessors and distinguish themselves wherever they find themselves.
Mrs Averil Aning Yeboah, a High Court Judge in Accra, congratulated the graduates and called on the Government to support vocational institutions to enable them to train the youth to acquire entrepreneurial skills.
The graduates exhibited cakes, pastries and floral decorations.