Invest in the tourism sector to enhance development – GTA

By
Mildred Siabi-Mensah / Crossland Agyemang, GNA

Takoradi, Oct. 7, GNA – Some industry players
in the tourism industry have called for the computerization of all sites and
attractions and help make the industry more responsive to the needs of clients.

The stakeholders said more awareness on
digital technologies at the local front would help to sustain tourism
development in the country.

Mr George Nkrumah Ansere, the Western Regional
Manager of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), said over the years, the tourism
sector has experienced continuous expansion and diversification due to its fast
growing nature, saying “if we want to remain relevant, technology must become
the fulcrum of our businesses.”

He was speaking at an event organised by the
Western Regional Directorate of  the
Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) for selected second cycle institutions, tourism
clubs, travel and tours car rentals traditional caterers(chop bars), drinking
bars  and tourism plant  operators.

The event was held under the theme: “Tourism
and the Digital Transformation”.

Mr Ansere said the industry has witnessed a
series of transformation since the era of post cards – “now, tourism is past
the era of post cards, the use of tour guides and now digital technology which
has given opportunities to many businesses all over the world to market products
and services through social application such as WhatsApp, snapchat, Instagram,
Facebook and google.”

Mr Ansere said this year’s theme affords us
the chance to explore avenues for tourism growth including big data, artificial
intelligence and digital platforms.

He said this is a unique opportunity to raise
awareness on how technology could sustain tourism development, investment,
partnerships and collaboration towards a more inclusive sector.

Mr Ansere said a greater engagement of the
sector would promote creativity and innovations leading to jobs for the future
generation adding that World Tourism Day has been celebrated annually to
promote a greater engagement of the sector.”

“We must better understand the growing
economic and societal and environmental impact of technology and innovation in
tourism in our sector if want to sustain continuous inclusive growth in line
with sustainable development goals of the United Nations,” he said.

Mr Victor Anderson Hodibert, a lecturer at the
Department of Tourism at the Takoradi Technology University (TTU), said there
is the need for government to support a Public Private Partnerships that would
set an agenda for the sector’s digital transformation at the various districts
and regional capitals.

This strategy, he said, would yield good
results in digital destination branding and data driven decision making to help
in the development and management of tourist attraction sites and other
hospitalities.

Mr Hodibert said Ghana was not far from
reaching the digital transformation goal in the tourism sector with mobile
network applications but, what remains was the needed attention to be given to
the sector.

He encouraged school children to take up
courses in the tourism sector as it offered numerous job opportunities.

GNA

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