Mr Emmanuel Frimpong, Tourism Consultant and Analyst, Pishon Consult Limited, says ensuring standardisation at all levels of the tourism establishment would help boost the country’s tourism potential.
He said, “there must be a synchronised standard that all establishments must follow and adhere to, so that patrons would receive equal service at all facilities, no matter the location and operators can be punished when they default.”
“There are no standards that establishments are following or adhering to, so everyone does things their own way. If authorities can pay attention to some of these things, Ghana has the potential to attract tourists not just internationally but domestic ally as well.”
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Frimpong called on Authorities to pay attention to frequent capacity building for industry players in the value chain to expose them to current trends and make them competitive.
“Tourism is a dynamic industry and that is why there are different tourists seeking different things, so, industry players must be trained to understand the dynamics of the sector in order to know when to vary their packages to attract more tourists.”
Mr Frimpong said, service quality was also another factor to consider in improving the sector, saying when quality of services improved, patrons would get value for their money, otherwise they would keep complaining about the cost of tourism establishments being expensive.
“If we are talking about Ghana as a destination that is expensive it is different because in that case we are talking about airline charges. Hotels are not that expensive but because we get poor services, we say tourism is expensive.”
The Consultant urged authorities to look at improving infrastructure at tourism establishments. “Roads to certain attractions sites as well as the infrastructure at these sites need attention. Most facilities look deserted. Nobody cares about the facilities and people operating them and yet patrons are charged when they visit.”
He noted that most African countries have seen tourism as a potential revenue earner, and as such were working towards attracting tourists. Ghana has been blessed with things that attract tourists such as historical, heritage, culture, natural sites, educational and religious tourism, hence the need to develop them to attract more tourists to improve the sector.
“If we can develop our attraction sites well, then we have an advantage and natural tendency to attract a lot of people to come here. Ghanaians are loved for our hospitality as well as the peace we have enjoyed over the past years, so developing these potential sites would be an added advantage for us, and we would also generate revenue.”
On the performance of the sector last year, Mr Frimpong noted that globally, the sector did better than the previous years. “Even though there were analysts who predicted that COVID would adversely affect tourism all the way up to 2024 to 2025, fortunately for us in the industry we saw the industry bouncing back last year.”
He said most countries, including Ghana had put various measures in place which saw the third and fourth quarter of last year picking up in terms of tourism arrivals from different countries as well as an increase in domestic tourism.
“In Ghana, people took advantage and visited different attraction sites and getting to the end of the year we had “December in GH” where over 90,000 people came into the country, but we could have done far better than we did.”
Mr Frimpong said, “Ghana has the potential to do better in the coming years, with the Ghana Tourism Policy that is currently being developed by the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to streamline the activities and operations of all sector players.”
“I am confident about the potential of tourism in Ghana, and I believe that in the coming years tourism would be a topical issue, for people in authority to highlight and talk about their perception of tourism, plans and how they will be using tourism to develop the country.”
The Consultant encouraged Ghanaians to develop the habit of at least spending some time visiting places, learning about other cultures and what prevails in other parts of the country, as this would go a long way to boost both domestic and international tourism.