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Lack of resources for research affect tourism in Ghana – Dr Sonne

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The Kakum Canopy Walkway - one of Ghana's tourist attractions

Dr Joel Sonne, Director of Projects at the Ministry of Tourism, on Thursday said lack of human and financial resources to undertake research was affecting the growth of the tourism sector.

He said there were inadequate personnel in the public service to enable the Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Board to establish strong research, statistics and information departments.

Dr Sonne said this at the first Public-Private Partnership Forum organised by the Ministry for stakeholders in the tourism sector to discuss a collaborative approach to tackle challenges confronting the growth of the tourism.

The forum was on the theme: “Re-Positioning Tourism in the National Development Agenda – The Need for Research and Data Collection”.

Dr Sonne said for tourism to become more competitive and sustainable industry, there was the need to build a strong partnership among key public and private sector institutions to focus on research initiatives and search for new ways to collecting and sharing data, in the operation and academic sectors.

He said there was the need to develop techniques and tools to reflect the realities of tourism’s role in national development.

Dr Sonne advocated for a rigorous research and rich description of data, which would demonstrate the validity, reliability and trustworthiness of data that would be disseminated to influence the thinking and decision-making processes of policy-makers, academics, investors and tourists.

Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, said the gap in tourism statistics presented serious challenges to getting reliable information necessary for planning.

She urged collaboration between government and research institutions to ensure that the research findings were used to enhance development of the tourism industry.

Ms Dansua noted that countries like Japan, China and Korea had developed their tourism sector through research, reliable statistics and efficient data.

She said the establishment of the Public-Private Partnership would give hope that a strategic alliance for cooperation would enhance the formation of database for tourism in the country.

Nana Twum, Research Manager of Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), said its mandate was to guide, plan, develop and promote investors and developers in their project documentation to ensure sustainable development of the tourism industry.

He said inadequate staff, high staff attrition rate, inadequate training and education of stakeholders and non-co-operation from the public-private sectors contributed to some of the challenges of data collection in the tourism industry.

Nana Twum advocated for a close working relations between the major stakeholders in the tourism sector to improve the relationships and understanding of research and data collection.

Dr Kwaku Adutwum Boakye, Lecturer at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Industry, University of Cape Coast, said tourism research was necessary to provide a more accurate and reliable figures about the state of tourism.

He urged academic institutions to train more persons both students and practitioners in research to focus more on problem-solving research and facilitate the sharing of information among stakeholders.

Source: GNA

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