The youth need to be given the chance to explore and optimize the myriad opportunities that exist in the tourism industry. This is particularly essential for young people in Ghana who feel marginalized in the wider tourism conversation, thus are not involved in key tourism policy and decisions.
This was the general sentiment that was gleaned from guests on the September 28 edition of the Tourism Drive show on Accra-based Okay Fm with Abeiku Santana as host.
The guests, Executive Director, Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA) and Youth Tourism Ambassador, Joseph Amartey and CEO, Hausa Tours and a member of Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Fuseini Nawaru Mohammed were speaking on the topic, “The Youth Factor in Tourism for Inclusive Growth.”
They bemoaned the unavailability of strategic plans that explicitly recognize the youth in Ghana’s tourism growth and development.
Amartey for instance found it ironic that on the occasion of the celebration of the World Tourism Day, there was no attempt by organisers to rope in the youth in activities marking the September 27 event. This, he observed thwarted the ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth,’ theme under which this year’s World Tourism Day was held.
Fusieni Mohammed cited low income levels and the absence of promotional strategies to make tourism appealing to the youth as factors that are responsible for their seeming neglect from the industry.
“More needs to be done to improve upon whatever motivation there is for youth to embark on tourism activities,” he urged.
It is instructive to note that during the global celebration of WTD2021 in Cote d’lvoire, UNWTO Secretary General, Zurab Pololikashvili had expressed similar views, calling for more opportunities for young people.
“Growth means nothing if it does not bring with it opportunity. And this is the true core of tourism. Our sector can help to bridge gaps of opportunity in many parts of the world. Across Africa, we see countless cases of young people being the first in their families to get an education or a job – thanks to tourism,” he had stated