There couldn’t have been a perfect way to review Ghana’s tourism performance for the year 2018 than with the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Akwasi Agyeman on the maiden VoyagesAfriq Tourism Podcast.
In his 22 months as the boss of the country’s main tourism agency responsible for the promotion and marketing of Ghana’s tourism offering, Akwasi Zurich affectionately known by many of his media and banking friends agreed to record the podcast with us.
He gave an overview of the Authority’s activities for 2018 and highlighted on the major events it undertook in the course of the year. Positioning and working very hard to make Accra the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibition) capital of West Africa was one of his strategies to drive the sector.
‘’After reviewing where the low hanging fruits are, we settled on three key strategies 1. To position Ghana as a MICE destination. We set up the Ghana national visitor and convention bureau to drive that.’’
Accra was recently adjudged the West Africa MICE city of the year and wants to do more to improve on that. Engagements with key stakeholders like hoteliers, car rental entities, restaurateurs and other ancillary services within the supply chain was critical to the growth of the mice sector.
He admitted the assertion by many travelers and travel analysts as Ghana not being competitive destination but was quick to add that, the GTA in a stakeholders meeting with the players listened to their concerns and through the ministry of tourism forwarded to cabinet for consideration.
The Visa regime the former GIBA CEO believes could be looked at as other competing countries are offering a better deal and if attention is not given could play to our disadvantage in a very competitive travel industry.
On innovations introduced to increase efficiency in the operations of the GTA, Mr. Agyeman said inspection of facilities has been digitalized and reckon will ensure efficiency with operations. Setting up a digital unit under the marketing departments has seen incredible jump of its social media presence and responses to the traveling public.
Talking about tourism in the West African sub region, Mr. Agyeman outlined some of the initiatives undertaken by the tourism heads of ECOWAS and mentioned the west African tourism integrated initiative as an organization pushing for Uni-visa similar to the EAC in east Africa.
This and many other issues he touched on. click the link below to listen to his review of the sector