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Richard Sumah January 18, 2019


The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) which is the umbrella organization for private participants in the Hospitality and tourism industry, as part of its activities and preparations towards this year of return an initiative of the Ghana Tourism Authority to promote and market Ghana to the Diaspora to return home to Ghana their ancestral home to be part of the nation building has organize its maiden workshop at the Coconut Grove Hotel in Accra to impact on the leadership of the federation to equip their members to fully participate in the year’s activity with improved skills in service delivery and customer relationship.

This year 2019 marks the 400th year when the first slave landed on the American shores as a slave a damaging history which affected the continent of Africa and derailed our developmental agenda.

The president of the federation, Madam Bella Ayee Ahu in her welcome address indicated the need and importance for the various association leaders to come together develop new leadership skills to enable them impact and promote their various associations members interest in participating in the year of return as industry players such as tour operators, car rentals tour guides, tour operators, chefs, food vendors, traditional caterers among other key service providers.

She indicated that, this training has been a long term vision of the federation to provide skills development opportunities for members to grow and impact on the tourism industry.

Mr Kwesi Agyeman the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority indicated the authorities’ preparedness to support the various associations to improve on their skills levels in promoting the interest of their members and the industry at large. He also mentioned of the need to increase the annual certification levy in order to facilitate the activities of the authority.

He said, the success of the year of return will depend largely on the involvement of the various members of the federation and how highly they looking up to its members make this year’s event successful.

Dr. Edward Ackah Nyameke the chairman for the occasion praised the executives of the federation and thanked them for putting the training program together; to him this has been long overdue since he personally believes periodic leadership skills upgrading programs are paramount and relevant to the success of the industry. He is very optimistic that the training will yield the needed result and to equip all leaders to rejuvenate the interest of their members to embrace change and improve on their service delivery and customer service abilities.

At the end of the first training section member were taken through leadership style, management style and definition of leadership how applicable the theories are in their daily activities and how it can transform the associations. Members were also taken trough vigorous practical team building and management approaches which many of them were excited about and promised to implement them to enhance on their performance.

The training was facilitated by on the finest industry player with a vast experience in the hospitality and tourism industry Dr. Joseph Mensah-Ansah, Head of Department – Hospitality Programme and Director, GIMPA Executive Conference Centre, who patiently took participant through the training sections, was optimistic periodic training will help sharpen their leadership skills in order to develop the tourism industry which is now a major contributor to GDP of various countries across the globe and called on government to pay much attention to the industry and invest  more into research.

Many issues were raised by members including GHATOF participation in the year of return programs or events they also lament for the lack of funding and recognition of GHATOF as a major private sector organization advocating and promoting the industry. Issues were also raised about lack of accurate and reliable data to support the industry contributing to GDP.

As part of the year of return activities GHATOF plan to organize an event called ‘MARABA’ (welcome) to showcase Ghana’s rich culture, music, dance, costumes, and food, among various indigenous activities. They also intend to organize training for sales people in traffics, taxi drivers, trotro drivers among other groups to be more hospitable to visitors and to promote ourselves as the friendliest people on earth. The federation intend to organize more of such training programs across the country in their determination to train many leaders in the sector as possible.

Dr. Nyameke in his closing remarks thanked all for participating in their numbers and entreats all leaders to be more committed, proactive to the association and to contribute their quota towards the development of the federation.

By Richard Sumah


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