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Ghana to build $10m tourism and hospitality training school

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says his government, since coming into office in 2017, has put in place measures and initiatives which have resulted in the construction of a thriving tourism economy in the country.

According to him, “we want to use tourism as an effective tool for economic transformation, which will help to create jobs and prosperity for the people.

“That is why Government, with the support of international partners, is investing heavily in key tourism attractions, which will, in turn, boost tourist arrivals this year and beyond.”

Speaking at the formal opening of the Tema Branch of Alisa Hotel, the President indicated that the hospitality sector is the third largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), after cocoa and oil and gas, accounting for two out of every ten jobs in the country.

President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Government has put in place plans to build a state-of-the-art tourism and hospitality training school in Accra.

According to him, the $10 million facility will serve West Africa, and provide customer care training to operators in the tourism and hospitality value chain.

“When customers are happy and delighted, they do not only stay longer in hotels, but also spend more, and likely to return in the future with family and friends.

“Building the capacity of tourism players is, therefore, important in our quest to be the tourism destination of West Africa,” he said.

“When customers are happy and delighted they do not only stay longer in hotels but also spend more and likely to return in future with family and friends,” added.

President noted that Government’s focus, over the 18 months, is to exploit Ghana’s culture, heritage, history, hospitality and beautiful natural scenery to attract tourists, fun-lovers and leisure seekers hoping to find a unique experience in Africa.

In addition to the abundance of natural resources, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that government has embarked on a product improvement plan, where several tourist sites in the country are currently undergoing renovations.

These he said includes the Aburi Botanical Gardens, the Yaa Asantewaa Memorial Museum and the Kente Museum, both in Kumasi.

“This year alone, it is expected that some $25 million will be expended to upgrade some of our iconic sites, including the famous Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, the Mole and Kakum Parks, and cultural Museums in Yendi in the Northern Region, Ejisu in the Ashanti Region, Akropong in the Eastern Region, and Ho in the Volta Region, under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, supported by the World Bank,” he said.

The President added that “this Project, with a value of $40 million, is expected to position the tourism and hospitality sectors as key drivers of social and economic development.

He enumerated some of the benefits that the project is expected to bring as enriched access to Ghana’s tourism market, better provision of tourism products and services, and the upgrading of skills in the labour force in the tourism, arts, and culture sectors.”

He noted that the advent of the COVID – 19 pandemic has meant that the hospitality sector has been the sector most adversely affected evidenced in the 75% decline in international tourism arrivals in 2020 and a 45% reduction in 2021.

That notwithstanding, he said the sector is rebounding after government took some bold and decisive measures which saved lives, livelihoods and businesses as well as through the global easing of restrictions.

He said government with the support of international partners is investing heavily in key tourism attractions and creating the needed environment for the private sector to thrive and support the economic growth of the country.

“Despite the current difficulties facing our nation we will continue to build a business-friendly environment that will enhance entrepreneurship-a vital component of economic growth and development,”  he added.

Mr. Mark Okraku-Mantey, the Deputy Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture, in his address said the prime concern of the ministry in promoting tourism is the aggressive improvement of tourist sites to bring surety of returns and ensuring that standards of hotels across the country are improved he commended the group chair of Alisa Hotels for his contributions in advancing the growth of the hospitality industry in the country.

He noted that the commitment of the ministry to ensuring quality of service delivery in the sector has resulted in Ghana topping the world economic tourism ranking in west Africa .

Kwame Ofosu Banfo, group chair of Alisa Hotels said the imposing Tema edifice has come about by dint of hard work as the actual work was done during the COVID-9 pandemic era.

He said the new addition to the brand would go a long way to advance the course of the growth of the hospitality industry and well as impact the sustainability of the group.

He appealed to government to offer the industry some respite and access to credit to help create jobs.


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