Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has called on players in the hospitality industry to partner with her Ministry to ensure sustained growth of the tourism sector in Ghana.
She said government recognises the potential of the hospitality industry in shaping and reinforcing the country’s economic growth and the Ministry would not hesitate to provide technical and policy guidance that might be required by players in the industry to sustain the gains so far made.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare, who made the call during the launch of the Africa Hospitality show in Accra on Thursday, commended the organisers for the initiative which would enhance the exposure of players in the hospitality and tourism industry to gain greater market share and visibility.
She expressed the hope that the initiative would also mark the beginning of genuine useful networking and exchange of ideas, dialogue for confronting challenges and bottlenecks, as well as the initiation of healthy keen competition, which would lead to the delivery of quality standards in the hospitality industry.
The event, which is scheduled to take place at the Accra International conference Centre in Accra from September 12 to 14, 2013, would include activities such as conferences and exhibitions to showcase the artistic wares, operations and services of the various players in the hospitality and tourism industries in Ghana and other African countries.
Ms Ernestina Abroquah, Chief Executive Officer, Litina Travel and Tours, who are the event organisers, said the event would showcase the current status of the hospitality sector in Africa and give a clear indication of the way forward, new opportunities, expansions, partnerships, training and collaborations.
She said it would also provide a fair platform for players to network and share their experiences, for the growth and expansion of tourism in the continent and also to help boost profitability.
She called for cooperation among stakeholders to help bring the Ghanaian tourism and hospitality industry alive and be recognised worldwide and encouraged stakeholders to participate and fully exploit the opportunities that the show presents.
Dr Joseph Mensah-Ansah, a Lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, called on the government to invest more in the human resource capacity of managers of the hospitality industry to ensure quality services and improved standards that are comparative to international standards.
He acknowledged government efforts in improving human resource capacity at various sectors of the country, but stressed that, to achieve the sustained growth desired in tourism, government must put in more resources, both financial and technical for the training of more instructors in institutions that provides training for the hospitality industry.
“The National Hospitality and Tourism School should offer relevant hospitality and tourism programmes at the competency, supervisory and management levels, and it should have the reputation in Ghana and beyond, in terms of the high quality of its graduates”, he said.
He again urged government to hasten the process of transforming the Hotel Tourism and Catering Training Institute into the National Hospitality and Tourism school to reflect the policies and strategies of the Ghana Shared Growth and Development (GSGDA) and the Better Ghana Agenda on Human Development, Employment and Productivity.
Mr Stephen Owusu, Membership Development Manager for the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), hailed the move by Litina Travel and Tours for the great exposure and networking platform they had given the tourism industry in boosting business.