Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - Though hotel accommodation facilities keep increasing in this country, there is still not enough Ghanaians with the appropriate expertise to manage the high-end ones.
The National Tourism Development Plan indicates that the number of star-rated hotels in Ghana grew from 1,345 in 2005 to 1,747 in 2010. Majority of the hotels are within the one and two-star
categories though several higher category hotels are still at the construction phase.
The President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Dr Seth Adjei-Baah, however, said in Accra last week that the chamber’s records showed that most of the three to five-star hotels in this country were all managed by foreigners.
He was speaking at a programme at the Holiday Inn to launch the first national Ghana Hotels Awards which forms part of the 40th anniversary celebration of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA).
“We want to believe that after 40 years, we will have hotels within the three to five-star categories and most importantly, get Ghanaians to be at the helm of affairs of such hotels.
“It is something we have to look at because we are importing people to come and manage and export our scanty foreign exchange. Let’s look at how best we can train our people to manage things for us within our environment,” Dr Adjei-Baah stated.
Ghana Tourist Board sources indicate that there are 36 three-star, six four-star and two five-star hotels in this country.
The President of the GHA, Mr Herbert Acquaye, agreed with Dr Adjei-Baah that more Ghanaians needed to take up roles in the middle and senior management levels at high-end hotels.
To him, the absence of high-level training schemes in the country was the main reason Ghanaians were absent at the top-end of hotel management in their own country.
“The high-end hotels are all GHA members and we encourage them to evolve capacity-building and grooming programmes for their Ghanaian staff to enable them fill in middle and senior level management positions,” Mr Acquaye said.
He pointed out that government also had a role to play in the establishment of appropriate training schemes to churn out high calibre hotel management personnel.
“We are persistently but gently pushing the appropriate arms of government to step into the fray. I believe in the long run, they would have no other choice than to ensure that a lot more qualified Ghanaians are there to man the three-star to five-star hotels.”
The Acting Deputy Executive Director (Finance and Administration) at the Ghana Tourist Board, Mr Samson Donkor, told The Mirror that the top manpower requirement of the hotel industry can only be met when a high-standard training school gets going in this country.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the two-star Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra, Mr Ralph Ayite, stressed that the hotel business was a multi-million dollar industry and the issue of Ghanaians lacking the requisite know-how to manage top-end hotels should be of concern to the government and everyone concerned about successful tourism in Ghana.
The 2015 Ghana Hotels Awards has been scheduled for Saturday, November 21 in Accra. The awards, according to the GHA president, is to celebrate the most successful hotels, hoteliers and hotel employees across Ghana.
The theme for the awards scheme this year is: Rewarding Creativity and Excellence in Hotel Keeping. Awards are expected to be given in 24 categories that embrace all star-rated hotels in this country.
A former GHA president who chaired the awards launch ceremony, Barima Kofi Adjei Twinin I, urged the selection committee to be utterly transparent in their work to enable recipients value the awards.
He said the accommodation factor was a critical component of tourism and GHA members should abide by high standards at all times to help promote tourism in this country.
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