LI to regulate tourism sites will ensure safety – GTA

Ghana’s first canopy walkway at Kakum.

A Legislative Instrument (LI) for the regulation of tourism sites to ensure they operate in accordance with international standards is before Parliament for consideration.

The LI, termed the Regulations of Tourist Attractions and Site, is aimed at bringing all tourist and attraction sites under the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for proper regulation.

When passed the sites would be issued with valid operational licenses by the GTA before they could operate.

Mr Alex Boakye, the Director of Standards and Quality Assurance of the GTA, said the LI was to make the tourist sites safe for patrons by preventing avoidable accidents.

He was speaking at a sensitisation workshop for informal food and beverage sector operators in the Central Region, organised by the GTA with sponsorship from the Tourism Development Fund.

It sought to equip participants with the requisite skills in food handling to improve upon quality service delivery within the sector.

Mr Boakye said the GTA was in the process of formulating another LI to regulate travel trade agencies such as travel agency operators, tour guides, and car rentals among others to operate within standards.

This was necessary with the coming into force of the Tourism Act 817 (2011), which had widened the mandate of the GTA in terms of the enterprises that it regulates.

Presently, LI 2239 had been enacted to regulate the accommodation sector, which includes hotels and guest houses whereas the LI 2238 regulates food, beverage and entertainment enterprises.

Mr Boakye said the training programme on the food and beverage aspect of LI 2238 was apt to enlighten participants on the regulations to act in accordance with its provisions.

Making a presentation on Food Safety and Hygiene, Dr Patricia Owusu Darko, the Dean of Graduate School, Kumasi Technical University, said it was imperative for food and beverage vendors to be educated on the rudiments of food safety and proper food handling.

Food safety and hygiene, she said, was crucial in the hospitality industry as a lot of diseases were caused by consuming unhygienic and unsafe food.

Dr Owusu Darko, also a Food Scientist, tasked food handlers to have the legal, commercial and moral obligation to provide safe food to consumers by putting in place management systems to check and monitor likely hazards.

Mr Ekow Sampson, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, said food and beverage operators played important roles in the hospitality and tourism industry, hence the need to sensitise them to promote food safety and good service delivery.

Participants were taken through Food Safety and Hygiene, Finance and Accounting Basics with specific emphasis on Book Keeping and LI 2238 and 2185 respectively.

Some participants commended the GTA for the training and that it would help them improve their skills.

Source: GNA

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