Monday, September 29, 2014

AFRICA IN FOCUS >> Coming up on 30 September, 2014: The Hotel Industry in Ghana & Africa (2); and a Chat with Miss Tourism 2013

So, World Tourism Day 2014 went by on 27 September without much fanfare in the media.

With the exception of one or two stories by some media houses, the media has generally been found wanting on reporting tourism. Add that to the fact that Africa in Focus has reported about how the African Union and the UN World Tourism Organisation signed an MoU to promote tourism as an important element in reducing poverty in Africa, and you will realize how serious we are about prosecuting this all-important agenda.

The 27 July edition of Africa in Focus, which focused on the Forestry Sector and matters arising on Eco-Tourism, kick-started the first of a series of programmes that seek to shed light on different aspects of tourism.

On 19 August, we looked at the Aviation sector as another equally-important aspect of supporting and developing the tourism sector. On 26 August, we asked important questions around the hotel industry in Ghana. Today’s edition is a follow-up of that edition.

But let us just add a little about World Tourism Day.

According to the UN, this year’s World Tourism Day (WTD) draws special attention to the role of tourism in contributing to one of the building blocks of a more sustainable future for all: Community development. This focus is in line with the global transition to the Sustainable Development Goals as the guiding principle promoted by the UN from 2015 and beyond.
The UN maintains that “as a sector representing 9% of global GDP, one in 11 jobs worldwide, and a key revenue sector for developing and emerging economies, tourism is widely acknowledged for its capacity to respond to global challenges.” It continues that “the consolidation of tourism’s economic influence has built up its social responsibility and political relevance, with a growing number of countries allocating a stronger mandate to tourism in economic and development policy planning.”

Judging by the past six programmes we have focused on tourism-related issues, one could be forgiven for thinking that Ghana has yet to recognize the all-important revenue-earner tourism remains, and therefore, why regulating, and sanitizing the hotel industry is so important.

At the end of the day, when you look at the value chain of how tourism raises revenue for the State, you will realize that hotels sit firmly on that chain.

Today’s edition of AIF, our 19th edition, is a bit of a mixed bag, because even as we will be interviewing Miss Tourism 2013 to offer insights into life after her reign, we will most importantly be shedding light on the hospitality sector by asking important questions emanating from the outcome of a Forum of Ghana Hotels Association held last week in Accra. Specifically, how should hotels synergise with regulators (Fire Service; Ghana Tourism Authority; et al) as they seek to do business.

Guiding Questions to be answered:
  • Why an Association of Hotels? How long has it bene in existe nce?
  • What is the GAH’s mandate as it relates to hospitality & tourism industry?
  • What is the state of the regulatory regime with respect to the hotel industry?
  • What is the role of the EPA in regulating hotel industry?  
    Guests in the studio:
  • Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamikye Jnr , Chairman, Ghana Hotels Association--ACCRA
  • Lambert Faabeleuon, Environmental Protection Agency

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