Women have been challenged to work together for the common good of dealing with difficulties they face in their fields of endeavour. Especially for women in tourism, working in tandem with one another is very crucial in maximizing the opportunities that exist within the vast sector.
These have been some of the outcomes today at the 2nd Women in Tourism Summit Ghana which was held under the theme, “Empowering Women in Ghana’s Tourism Industry” at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.
In his welcome address CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman said the increased contributions of the women in the tourism sector in recent years have positively impacted the tourism industry.
Despite their impact, he observed, “women continue to be underrepresented in management and leadership. The goal of this event amongst others is to discuss how we can provide the enabling environment to empower and encourage more women to reach the upper echelons of tourism practice.”
To this end, Agyeman stressed the need for women to come together and avoid tendencies that beset their collective empowerment. He mentioned that tourism as a sector is big enough to accommodate everybody. “There is space for everyone,” he insisted.
Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi in her keynote address said there is real potential for women to precipitate the global sustainable tourism agenda if they worked closely together.
“Women can adequately drive goals in tourism to accomplishments, at different levels of endeavour to ensure sustainable tourism. Tourism provides great opportunities for women participation in the workforce, women’s entrepreneurship and women’s leadership than any other sector of the economy,” she said.
Quoting figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Hon. Oteng-Gyasi said the tourism sector continues to create avenues for women empowerment through job creation and entrepreneurship.
“According to the UNWTO in certain countries, tourism has almost twice as many women employers. While in other countries, more that 70% are business owners are women compared to just about 20% in other sectors in the economy, so we are leading in tourism” She mentioned.
The 2019 edition of the Women in Tourism Summit Ghana brought women and men from across the length and breadth of Ghana, Africa and beyond to deliberate on the critical issues of women empowerment, gender equality and explored the opportunities that exist within the tourism sector for business linkages.
Highlights included presentations by leading tourism experts on different themes. They comprised, a presentation on “Brand Building for Your Tourism” by Kwakye Donkor, CEO, Africa Tourism Partners, “Building a Digital Business Strategy” by Elizabeth Tay, Team Lead, Genie Intel Ltd., “Raising Funding for Tourism Enterprises” by Habiba Sumani, Director, National Board for Small Scale Industries, and many others.
Director of International Operations at Dubai Tourism, Stella Fubara Obinwa shared insights on “Surviving in the World of Tourism,” with an Executives’ Dialogue presenting views from industry captains; Stella Appenteng, Managing Director, Apstar Tours, Adoma Peprah, Country Manager, Visa Ghana and Thenjiwe Morule, Head, Sales and Marketing BCD – Travel, South Africa.
The Women in Tourism Summit Ghana was organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority in partnership with Africa Tourism Partners, South Africa.
By: Samuel Obeng Appah