Managing Director of Jumia Travel West Africa, Kushal Dutta, has cited poor maintenance culture, currency fluctuations and the lack of proper marketing strategies as some of the challenges bedeviling the country’s domestic tourism sector.
He revealed this at the ‘Akwaaba’ Forum, a brainstorming session to look at shortfalls in Ghana’s tourism sector and how best to address them. It was themed, ‘Unlocking the Tourism Potential.’ Mr Dutta also said though Ghana is a safe and stable country with amazing weather, citizens should be given the opportunity to enjoy low hotel rates than foreigners.
According to him, this would encourage local patronage of tourism sites and the services rendered by the hospitality industry. He stated that the ongoing infrastructure development and Ghana’s high foreign exchange would help attract tourists. A lecturer at the Central University College, Kofi Akpabli, in a remark, recommended that technology should be used to overcome the afore-stated challenges. He entreated the general public to use the various social media platforms to publicize tourist sites so as to attract more tourists to the sites.
He also proposed that tourist guides should be well trained and informed about to educate tourists when they travel to Ghana. “Tourism in Ghana is about the people. This is because these people are the ones who are going to influence repeated visits,” he added. Professor Kwaku Boakye, a lecturer from at the Department of Tourism and Hospitality at the University of Cape Coast, also offered solutions on policy direction and implementation, investment in the sector, as well as improving the workforce in the sector.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority, Kwesi Agyemang, on his part, assured Ghanaians that the authority would work with other stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry to put measures in place to solve the challenges the industry was currently facing.
Panelists also discussed how to improve the industry to beat competition from across the world, and explored ways to quicken the implementation of Ghana’s 15-year Tourism Development Plan.