President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced plans by his administration to build a tourism training school in Accra to provide customer care training to operators in the hospitality and tourism value chain.
The US$10 million facility, according to the President, forms part of the government’s vision of marketing the country as an exciting destination for tourism in Africa.
President Akufo-Addo announced this when he inaugurated the Tema branch of the Alisa Hotel here in Tema Community 12 yesterday
Owned by renowned Ghanaian entrepreneur, Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, the hotel features a total of 46 guestrooms, four suites, a sky bar, pool bar, restaurant, spa, a conference and events hall, gym, among other facilities.
Commending the owner of the facility for the “brilliant initiative”, President Akufo-Addo reiterated his commitment to build a business friendly environment to enhance entrepreneurship in the country.
“We want to use tourism as an effective tool for economic transformation and create jobs,” he said, indicating that the government had brought in international partners to help improve the country’s tourism.
“Government has vision to market the country as an exciting destination for leisure, conferences, sports, health educational and cultural tourism,” he said
With the hospitality industry now the third largest contributor to the country’s GDP after cocoa, oil and gas, he said the government would implement initiatives to transform the sector into a strong tool for economic transformation.
Mr Bamfo, Chairman of the Alisa Group, said the hospitality sector had the potential of becoming the key sector of employment creation in the country if well supported by the government
He appealed to the government to offer respite to the industry in relation to access to credit to boost operations in the industry and create jobs for the youth, both skilled and unskilled.
“Following the government’s initiative of the year of return and beyond the return, the Alisa Group has expansion projects for the increased international guest demands and drive the tourism agenda of Ghana as an attractive destination,” he said.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, said through pragmatic efforts of the government to train people and improve tourist sites, Ghana had now become the number one destination for tourism in West Africa
He said the ministry was mentoring young people in tourism and expressed the government’s commitment to put measures in place to improve Ghana’s position in tourism in Africa.
FROM YAW KYEI, TEMA