Tourism federation targets informal sector with quality service training

Poor service delivery in the tourism and hospitality industry remains a major drawback to the growth of the sector. 

Industry managers in both the public and private sectors are therefore committing to targeted training to improve the quality of service. 

Some 18 thousand members of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) have so far been trained under the Skill Development Fund, managed by the Council for Vocational and Technical Education and Training (COTVET).

President of the Federation, David Nana Anim, tells Luv Biz the focus is skewed towards the informal sector, with a scheduled training of an additional 5,800 traditional caterers across the country. 

He however says training is as important as licensing operators to conform to standards and be subjected to monitoring. 

“Look at people selling around gutters, unclean environments and others go there to buy the food; so they are the target group that we need to train. Look at the issue of cholera [for instance], they must be trained because they are the people who can manage diseases,” he noted. “At the same time since you are in business, you need to pay for your license.”  

GHATOF is strengthening regional bodies to position the private sector to drive the tourism and hospitality industry in Ghana. 

Ashanti region, the cultural-based tourism hub of the country, is considered critical heartbeat for the growth of the industry, hence the establishment of a regional chapter. 

According to the Executive Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Charles Osei Bonsu, Kumasi is growing as an attractive tourism and investment destination based on the ongoing projects including the planned construction of the second national theatre. 

“If you look at the patronage of domestic airlines, that should tell you that we’re growing and the potentials are enormous,” he observed. “What we are going to do now is to focus on product development; that is the development of the attraction sites and then the development of the super-structure facilities; that is more hotels, more restaurants of specialty, nightclubs, movie theatres and so on.”

Mr. Osei Bonsu added that capacity building for personnel is prioritized. “We need to provide quality service so that we can meet or exceed the expectation of guests,” he said.

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