The Ghana Association of Tourism and Hospitality Students (GATHS) has launched it National Sanitation and Tourism Education (SANITOUR EDUCATION) project on Friday, 29th October 2021 at KUMASI – ASOKWA, the Church of Pentecost Hall, Mckeown.
The Programme themed “Bridging the Gap Between Sanitation, Academia and the Tourism Industry: A Collective Responsibility”, saw the presence of many dignitaries such as the CEO of Mckeown Group – Elder Dr. Adu-Aninkorah, President of the Ghana Progressive Hotels Association – Mr. Charles Adu Gyamfi, Ashanti Regional Chairman of GHATOF – Mr. David Donyina, Representative of the Chefs Association of Ghana – Chef Lily, Ashanti Regional Director of Kids in Tourism – Mrs. Bernice Akufo Addo, Gospel Musician – Mrs. Doris Gyamo, Patron of GATHS – Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong amongst others.
The President of GATHS – Mr. Isaac Frempong stated in his address that, the Long-Term Project which houses several activities is geared towards helping sustain the development of Tourism and bridge the long existing Gap between ACADEMIA AND THE TOURISM INDUSTRY. The SANITOUR EDUCATION project is one that will serve as the main vehicle or tool which will contribute massively to the development of rural communities with both potential and developed tourism resources.
Emphasizing on the need to prioritize proper sanitation practices in tourism activities will contribute to ensuring the availability of clean water bodies and safe drinking water. “Even though we have some stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industry onboard to contribute in the execution of this project, we are still making efforts to liaise with several others of the Sanitation and tourism industry within the catchment communities to work collectively with each other towards the overall development of the district and its people” Mr. Isaac Frempong added.
The Chairman of the Occasion, Elder Dr. Adu-Aninkorah the CEO of McKEOWN Group of Companies, also stretched in his address that, indeed there is a Gap between ACADEMIA AND THE TOURISM INDUSTRY, and to address this, students should be ready to humble themselves and be willing to learn to acquire the skills and experience that the industry is looking out for. There are many lucrative opportunities in our industry of which students should be ready to embrace such opportunities by being innovative and creative enough to go beyond what is given at the lecture theatre to acquire the skills and field experience to become employable even after school.
“We are ever ready to give in our maximum best to support this initiative from the university students fraternity as industry players, in an attempt to improve domestic tourism in the country”. He concluded.
Mr. David Donyina, the Ashanti Regional Chairman of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) explained the roles tourism and hospitality trade associations have to play in helping address the said Gap between academia, tourism and sanitation.
He indicated that, most students from tertiary institutions who are given opportunities to do internships or industrial attachments and national service in tourism and hospitality institutions like hotels are usually not ready and willing to do the “dirty jobs” (i.e, cleaning, washing, serving etc.) as leaners, but rather come in wanting to supervise and occupy offices.
He advised that, to be a good manager of a hotel, one should have experiences in all departments in the hotel industry. “Students should come down to start from the scratch when they are doing internship, attachment or even given the opportunity as employees in the industry”. He concluded.
There is so much benefit that the tourism and hospitality industry have to offer, and students should be ready to make good use of any available opportunity to increase their chances of becoming employable even after school. Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong, patron of GATHS emphasized.
He added that, it appears most tourism and hospitality students are not aware of the entrepreneurial opportunities that the sector has. “There are many great opportunities in the tourism industry that students should be able to make good use of”. He stated.
Even as we educate the public on the need for good sanitation practices, entrepreneurial opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector for students, graduates and the unemployed should be made known.
Adding to the need to educate the general public about good sanitation practices and its importance, Gospel musician, Mrs. Doris Gyamo explained that maintaining good Sanitation in our communities, work place and in our schools is critical for development. “Sanitation should be our utmost priority in an attempt to improve domestic tourism development to be able to reap the benefits therein as industry players, my team is ever ready to do all we can to support this initiative as the industry bounces back to normal post COVID”. She ended.
Chef Lily who represented the chefs association of Ghana, applauded GATHS for the initiative and explained how important good sanitation practice is required in all aspects of the tourism and hospitality industry, especially, the culinary industry. Efforts to educate the industry players and the general public on the subject is in a right direction.
Mrs. Bernice Akufo Addo, the Regional Director for Kids in Tourism, reiterated the support from her outfit in the execution of the sanitation and tourism education project. She explained the need to involve kids in this national education agenda towards developing the tourism and hospitality sector in Ghana.
The Master of Ceremony, Miss. Jochebed Martey, in a vote of thanks commended the GATHS for the initiative, the sponsors of the ceremony, the guests, Nyansapo Cultural Dance troupe for their lovely performances and all for making the short ceremony a success.