The 2022 first quarter Public Private Partnership Forum (PPPF) on tourism has been held in the Ashanti Regional capital of Kumasi.
The event held under the theme: “Scaling Up Public Private Partnership for Inclusive Tourism Growth,” attracted a large number of industry stakeholders to the NODA Hotel on Thursday, March 24 to discuss ways by which the public and private sectors could work together to foster growth of the tourism and its sub-sectors in Ghana.
CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman in his opening address, said the event offers an opportunity for industry players especially, the private sector to look at solutions to challenges in the industry.
He said he is aware of the numerous issues that practitioners want addressed; including, harmonization of taxes in the hospitality sector and the Forum offers platform “to bring some results to the industry.”
Director of PPPF, Isaac Asiam stated that PPPF allows for the engagement of the public sector and private sector in building synergy towards the development of the tourism sector and provides a holistic approach to addressing critical issues to harness and unlock the potentials the tourism sector offers on a win-win basis.
President of the Ghana Tourism Federation, Bella Ahu underscoring the importance of the theme said it was about time ways by which investments into tourism is critically looked at. Such investments, she said, should go into developing the needed tourism infrastructure, training among other things to make tourism much more attractive.
“We don’t need coins, we need money, brick and mortar and training,” she emphasized.
Kenya’s High Commissioner to Ghana, H.E. Eliphas Barine commended organisers for the event, stating that it is the way to go to bring various players together to move tourism forward.
Chairman of the GTA Governing Board, Seth Adjei Baah who spoke on behalf of the Minister said industry stakeholders need to start looking at tourism as an avenue for wealth creation. He said government’s new targets of $2.5 billion tourism revenue, 900,000 international tourists and 800,000 domestic tourists are annually offer opportunities for making money.
“Our common wealth together determines the wealth of the nation and so we need to position ourselves to create wealth through tourism and we can put the country out there. I wouldn’t to see a tour operator who is poor,” he stressed.
A panel discussion was held on the topic, ‘Promoting Investments into the Tourism and Hospitality Sector’ with panelists drawn from private tourism operators, banking, and GIPC. They included: Kingsley Adofo-Addo – Head of SME, Ecobank Ghana PLC, Manu Bashir – Ashanti Regional Director, Ghana Enterprise Agency, Eugenia Okyere – Ghana Investment Promotion Centre and Ahmed Naaman – CEO, Dodi Travel & Tours.
Another panel also discussed the topic, Bridging the skills gap in the industry. Panelists comprised, Prof. Alexander Yao Segbefia – Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Rural Development, Faculty of Social Sciences, KNUST, Katakyie Dr. Adu-Aninkorah -CEO/McKeown Hospitality & Professional Institute, Theophilus Tetteh Zogblah – Coordinator, CTVET and Dr. Patricia Darko – Dean, Graduate School, Kumasi Technical University and President, Institute of Hospitality.
Creating business linkages among industry stakeholders, accessing funding from financial institutions, standardizing frameworks, developing skills set that are relevant to the tourism and hospitality sectors and providing the right motivations for professionals were key areas the discussions highlighted.
The PPPF established under Article 42 of the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817) is to engage the private sector to discuss pertinent issues that impact the development of the tourism sector in Ghana. The event is the second after the inaugural one held last October in Accra. The next PPPF is set to take place in Ho, the Volta regional capital.
The event was organised by the Public Private Partnership Forum Office of the Ghana Tourism Authority with support from Ecobank and Goldstar Air