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Prioritise customer service to boost tourism - Dr Awal

BY: Benjamin Xornam Glover
Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture,  at one of the exhibition stands mounted as part of the graduation programme of the Khameen Professional Institute
Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, at one of the exhibition stands mounted as part of the graduation programme of the Khameen Professional Institute

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, has advised practitioners in the hospitality industry to make quality customer care service their hallmark.

At the 13th Graduation Ceremony of Khameen Professional Institute (KPI) last Saturday at Sakumono, near Tema, in the Greater Accra Region, Dr Awal said it was imperative for businesses to invest in customer service to ensure customer satisfaction.

KPI is a skill development institute that trains individuals to acquire professional skills in the area of fashion design and garment making, hospitality and catering management.

Some 69 students, including eight males, graduated after pursuing various programmes such as Fashion Design and Garment Making, Cookery and Hospitality Management at the institute.

Dr Awal said as stakeholders in the tourism value chain, the graduates could not take out customer service from the progress of their future businesses.

He emphasised the need for a change in attitude as far as customer service was concerned in order to improve Ghana’s corporate image to be able to woo more tourists.

Support

The event was dubbed: “Skills training and development, a catalyst for youth employment”, and Dr Awal said Ghana’s youthful population must provide the main support for the growth of the country.

He said the government was introducing the YouStart initiative to ease constraints for existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs, and explained that the initiative, coupled with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) — which provided knowledge and skills related to occupations in various sectors of the economy — would ensure that skills training became much better aligned with the needs of sectors to drive future productivity and socio-economic transformation.

He said with Ghana expected to welcome one million international tourist visitors, that would bring $2.6 billion into Ghana’s economy, a lot of opportunities abounded, and urged the youth as well as industry players to be creative and innovative to contribute to the growth of the sector.

Innovation

The Director of the institute, Mrs Augusta Afi Ali, said from its humble beginnings, the institute had trained students who had also created jobs in their respective fields.

She urged the graduates to utilise the skills and knowledge gained from their training to contribute to the growth of their businesses and the wider tourism industry.

The Director-General of the Ghana Technical and Vocational Education and Training Service, Mawusi Nudekor Awity, in a speech read on her behalf, said TVET should be a must for the youth if Ghana was to make progress in solving the current socio-economic related problems and also offer the youth an opportunity to cater for themselves and their families.

The Director, Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation, Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Emma Ofori Agyeman, highlighted the importance of small scale businesses to adopt digital innovation to redefine and improve their service and customer experience.

An exhibition was held at the foyer of the institute where products made by the graduates were displayed to the public and guests.

Outstanding students in the various courses were handed special awards.

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