The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has commenced a 5-day training programme for tourism inspectorate officers across the country as part of effort to equip them to understand the requirements and what they need to look out for when they go about their quality assurance and inspection duties to tourist sites and hospitality facilities.
The training kickstarts several training programmes planned for various players within the tourism value chain as a comprehensive nationwide training programme within the sector. The training also falls under the tourism component of government’s “Ghana Cares (Obaatanpa)” initiative.
Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwesi Agyeman in his opening remarks said the training had become necessary because these officers were the ones who visit the various tourism establishments to ensure the facilities were up to standard and operators were obeying the laid down regulations that have been passed under the Ghana tourism Act, Act 817 of 2013.
He said the training involved all inspectors across the 16 regions, who would be taken through the basic rudiments of inspecting tourism establishments, adding that they would be taken through some training from the National Security, COVID 19 Taskforce and the Ghana Health service.
“Some of the common defects experienced over the years in some tourism facilities include disability friendly facilities, issues of customer service, standards of facilitates, among others and we want to equip the inspectors to be able to understand what to look out for when they visit the facilities.
“Because they are the ones who go out to inspect the facilities they must make sure the operators are following the laid down guidelines and are able to lift up their game. And ones that is lifted we know that tourism would bounce back. Tourism is a very resilient industry and we know that wit time the numbers would go up and in two years’ time we would be back to a certain level we will all be comfortable with,” he s
Agyeman revealed that they are targeting a total of 10,000 people nationwide within a course of 18 months, and are currently working with COTVET on the training manuals and briefs.
Taxi drivers at the airport, car rentals and drivers, frontline staff at the various tourism establishment are all earmarked to be trained under the programme.
“In a few week we are going to engage taxi and Uber drivers at the airport, because they are also in the frontline, and we want them not just to be able to carry passengers and move them but be worthy brand ambassadors for the country,” Agyeman stated.
The nationwide training is premised on four key modules; including, product knowledge for frontline operators, customer service training, that cut across all sectors, digital skills training for middle level operators, and sales training within the hospitality sector.
The GTA CEO also noted that frontline hotel staff would taken through French language to equip them with basic conversational French, adding that signages would also be provided in the language at the facilities to make Francophone clients comfortable.