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Hospitality industry on promising trajectory

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Accra City Hotel, Yaw Mr Mamphey has said the country's hospitality industry has been on a promising trajectory for years; until the global travel slump caused by COVID-19 impacted it significantly.

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He said prior to 2020, the tourist arrivals were steadily increasing. “This boom fueled hotel development, with various establishments catering to a diverse range of travellers,” he added.

He said  the scarcity of skilled labour as a primary factor contributing to the high turnover rate and inconsistent service quality plaguing the hospitality industry. The Accra City Hotel COO said the hospitality sector was on the brink of a transformative era, with immense potential to become a leading destination for global travellers.

“The remarkable growth over the years was driven by a combination of factors, including economic development, tourism expansion, and governmental initiatives.

“Among the key pillars of this sector, the hotel industry stands out as a significant contributor to Ghana's economy, providing employment opportunities, fostering tourism, and showcasing the country's rich culture and hospitality.

“Today, the Ghanaian hotel industry is characterised by a diverse array of establishments ranging from luxury resorts and boutique hotels to budget accommodations and eco-lodges,” he added.

Commenting on the disparity between skills taught in schools and the need of the industries he said acknowledged that there was a significant disparity between the skills taught in hospitality schools and the industry's actual needs, which was essential for its growth and sustainability.

"The Ghanaian hotel industry faces numerous challenges, prominently including a skilled labour shortage, which stems from the gap between academic training and industry requirements, leading to high turnover rates and inconsistent service quality”.

“Furthermore, exorbitant operational costs pose a significant obstacle for hoteliers," Mr Mamphey explained in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra. The interview was centred on putting the spotlight on the challenges and future of the hospitality industry, particularly, hotels and resorts.

Higher responsibility

Mr Mamphey, who was reassigned as the Chief Operating Officer from his previous Head of Sales and Marketing, stated that multiple taxes and fees levied by various bodies strained hotel budgets.

He said utility costs, particularly electricity and water expenses, had also risen sharply. The COO of Accra City Hotel said policymakers and other stakeholders could implement tax incentives or subsidies for businesses that invested in sustainable practices, new technology and workforce development.

“Our policy makers can provide grants and low-interest loans for institutions in the hospitality sector to foster innovation and expansion. “Additionally, they can establish or fund training programmes to enhance the skills of hospitality workers, focusing on customer service, technology and management,” Mr Mamphey who has over 10 years of experience in the hotel industry with a thorough understanding of the market, added.

With his elevation at the four-star Accra City Hotel, Mamphey now supervises all aspects of the hotel’s operations, collaborating with the pertinent departments to enhance top line revenue, guest happiness and employee engagement.

Prior to working at the Accra City Hotel, he worked for nearly three years as part of the inaugural staff at the Royal Senchi, where he helped elevate the hotel’s status as one of the few most luxurious properties in the country.

At Accra City Hotel, Mamphey was instrumental in helping to rebrand the Novotel Accra to the Accra City Hotel.

Innovation

The COO of Accra City Hotel stated that amidst the challenges laid opportunities for innovation and strategic adaptation in the country’s hospitality industry.

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