Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal (middle), Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, decorating Akwasi Agyemang (seated), Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, at the event in Accra. With them are some guests and executives of the Ghana Tourism Authority. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal (middle), Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, decorating Akwasi Agyemang (seated), Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, at the event in Accra. With them are some guests and executives of the Ghana Tourism Authority. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

Poor customer service bane of tourism sector — Dr Awal

Poor customer service remains the nation’s biggest obstacle to becoming a topmost tourist destination in Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has said.

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“We have to fight against the lack of customer orientation among our people.

All the surveys that have been done over the past year show that poor customer care is our biggest problem not only in tourism, but across sectors,” he added. 

The minister, however, said the country was currently ranked number one in tourism in West Africa, and that the vision of the government was to place the country among the top three destinations on the continent within the next five years. 

Event

Dr Awal was speaking at the Honorary Edition of the this year’s Tourism Awards event in Accra last Friday.

It was organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to recognise and appreciate individuals and organisations for their invaluable contribution and dedication to growing the tourism industry.

The event, which coincided with the 50th anniversary celebration of the authority, was on the theme: “Celebrating 50 years of Ghana’s tourism excellence.”

In all, 25 individuals and organisations were honoured for their efforts in the sector.  

The awardees included the Minister of Food and Agriculture and owner of Rock City Hotel in the Eastern Region, Bryan Acheampong - Tourism Investment Award; Ace Journalist and Writer, Enimil Ashon - Tourism Promotion Award; Nana Ama Serwaa Bonsu - Tourism and Cultural Development Award, and musician, Okyeame Kwame - Artistic Support To Tourism Industry Award, while the Minister’s Special Award was received by the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA,  Akwasi Agyeman, for his outstanding leadership in transforming the tourism sector and placing it at the top in the sub-region. 

Capacity-building

Dr Awal, therefore, urged players in the tourism value chain to wage a war against poor customer service by building the capacity of employees on how to give clients the best experience for them to continue patronising what the nation had to offer.  

“GTA, you must work with the private sector to make sure that we improve customer care.

Although we are training 6,000 people along the cross-border chain on customer care, we can do better to improve our internal and external tourism,” he said. 

The minister also called on industry players, particularly tour operators and hoteliers, to come up with laudable packages to attract more clients.

“When people move from one region to another, they energise the local economy because they stay in hotels, they buy food, clothes and artefacts,” he said.

Commendation

The Paramount Chief of The Effutu Traditional Area, Neenyi Ghartey VII, commended the GTA for positioning tourism as a vibrant economic sector in the country.

He advised the winners not to rest on their oars but work hard to reaffirm their commitment to the growth of the industry.

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