National orientation workshop for tourism sector opens in Accra

A national orientation workshop and training for the implementation of new tourism sites regulations (Legislative Instrument (LI) 2393) for players in the tourism industry began in Accra yesterday.

The workshop is aimed at equipping players in the tourism sector with the required tools in order to boost the sector both locally and internationally.

Tourist Sites Regulations 2019 (L.I. 2393), prescribes minimum standards for employees of tourist sites, may also encourage operators of tourist sites to invest more in training staff.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Mark Okraku Mantey said the  L I  had come to bridge the gap between  the industry players.

He said the President had tasked the Ministry to achieve a target of $ four billion with two million people visiting by 2024 when he launched the national museum.

He mentioned that  the Ministry also had  a  target of one million domestic tourists and one million international tourist giving  a total of two million tourists which would direct and indirectly create  about two hundred fifty thousand jobs.

“So if we have these targets and we have standards not being met then there is a problem, so the LI have come at the right time when it was needed most,” MrMantey said 

Mr Mantey was of the view that there was the need for a level of training in terms of service quality adding that there would be challenges when that level was not met.

He stated that when tourists do not receive the expected service, they would not return and even discourage others from visiting the country.

The Deputy Minister MOTAC said tourism had become very competitive adding that “we arenot the only one who have seen it as a low hanging fruit and therefore we cannot do the same old things to get the results.”

 It brought to members of Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), tour operators Union, tour guides, hoteliers and members of some trade associations.

Mr Mantey said government want tomake Ghana the hub for tourism andWest Africa, explaining that   it does not only want to attract tourists from across the globe but also retain them who would in turn become ambassadors for the tourism 

He said at the end of the training, the Ministry hoped to see the various tourist sites urging them to take advantage of the training.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Mr Akwasi Agyeman said in 2021, 15 tourist sites registered and licensed as part of their operations.

He said it was the intention of the authority that by the end of next year, every tourist site in the country would have a proper license of operation.

“The reason we have not gone after tourist sites the way we go after hotels, restaurants and other operators is because we believe that it’s a new instrument there has to be some education and orientation on it and once we do that and start the proper licensing, we know that everybody will comply with what the law says,” he added.

 He mentioned that operators in other regions would be subsequently trained adding that in October, the authority would begin its yearly licensing of tourist establishments.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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