General News of Monday, 8 October 2018
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.