A retired Professor of Tourism Education, Professor Samuel Benjamin Owusu-Mintah, has called for the integration of tourism studies into pre-tertiary education in the country to build and expand the tourism sector into a high earner for the country.
Prof. Owusu-Mintah, who was nominated to deliver the lecture in 2020, when he was in active service, said though the tourism industry remained one of the highest earning sectors in the country, the sector could be further expanded through tourism education if it was given the needed attention and investment.
Speaking at his inaugural lecture at the Cape Coast Technical University (CCTU), he observed that the sector still lacked adequately trained human resource, which affected the sector’s development and subsequently its earnings.
The lecture was on the topic: "Tourism Education: Laying the Golden Egg for the Post COVID-19 Ghana?
Prof. Owusu-Mintah, who was a lecturer at the Department of Tourism of the university and is currently on contract, observed that tourism was the fourth highest foreign exchange earner after cocoa, minerals and remittances, and earned US$2.6 billion in 2018 and generated employment for 543,000 people.
Speaking on what he called the five ‘As’ of tourism development, Prof. Owusu-Mintah said attractions, accessibility, accommodation, amenities and administration must all receive attention if tourism was to be the golden egg for post COVID-19 Ghana.
He said while facilities attracted tourists, the others must be to sustain interest and excitement.
To this end, he said waterfalls, castles, festivals, amusement parks, shopping malls or theme parks must all be efficiently developed to enable tourists to relax at destinations.
The Vice-Chancellor of CCTU, Prof. Joshua Danso Owusu-Sekyere, said it was commendable that the inaugural lecture, the first to be held in a technical university, would set the pace for more.