Government is finalising plans to establish a new hotel and hospitality training institute for tourism professionals, with a sod-cutting ceremony expected to take place in early 2022 the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has disclosed.
The new institute, according to the minister, will have more improved facilities and training equipment than the existing Hotel, Catering & Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) under the Tourism Ministry.
Dr. Awal, who was addressing dignitaries and tourism stakeholders at the maiden Public-Private Partnership Forum (PPPF) and inauguration of the PPPF Steering Committee in Accra said: “The new school will provide end-to-end training for the industry, and will be modelled after Kenya’s Utali College – one of the best hospitality schools in Africa.
“The new school will be a much bigger Institute fitted with state-of-the-art learning facilities and materials that will not just focus on attracting students in Ghana, but also from across the West-Africa region” he added.
The minister’s revelation was heralded by concerns from industry players on the need for Ghana to upgrade and improve on its training for hospitality workers, as is the best practice in any part of the world.
HOTCATT is currently said to require modern facilities for tourism and hospitality training, with of the school’s location itself not favourable to accommodate the growing numbers of prospective students – coupled with a lack of residential facilities and training equipment.
But Dr. Awal said government’s interest is to change the face of the industry, considering the sector’s high employability ratio.
Chief Executive of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Akwasi Agyeman emphasised the sector’s need to collaborate, adding: “tourism thrives on collaboration; thus, the PPPF will help create an enabling atmosphere to formalise the collaboration that we need”.
Holding a PPPF comes under Article 42 of the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817), which recommends that there shall be a forum to encourage both the public and private sectors in promoting tourism development opportunities; and also to engage the private sector in discussing pertinent issues which impact development of the tourism sector in Ghana.
The Forum was under the theme ‘Shaping the Future of Tourism in Ghana through Collaboration and Partnership’, and drew participants and stakeholders from both the public and private tourism sectors, academia and corporate Ghana.
A nine-member Steering Committee led by the GTA CEO was inaugurated by Dr. Awal and charged with ensuring continuity of the forum, which will be reporting to the Ministry on activities of the PPPF on quarterly basis.
Members of the PPPF Steering Committee include: Akwasi Agyeman, Josephine Ohene Osei, Dr. Geoffrey Deladem Tamakloe, Kwesi Eyison, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike, Seth Ocran, Isaac Asiam, Kwadwo Odame Antwi, Prof Kweku Boakye and Naa Ashiokor Otoo.