President Akufo-Addo has disclosed that his administration will build a state-of-the-art tourism and hospitality training school in Accra, to provide customer service training to players in the value chain of the sector.
The project, according to Akufo-Addo, is valued at US$10,000,000.00 and when completed, it will serve the entire West African region for purposes of training professional customer service persons.
Addressing attendees of a ceremony to formally open the Tema branch of Alisa hotel on Friday, September 30, 2022, President Akufo-Addo said, the tourism and hospitality industry suffered a serious decline as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the sector is now recovering justifying the need to offer it all the support necessary for a full reclamation.
“The hospitality sector is the 3rd largest contributor to the country’s GDP after cocoa and oil & gas. It accounts for 2 in 10 jobs in the country and it is for these reasons that government since 2017 has been implementing a number of initiatives to help transform the sector into a strong tool for economic transformation.
“The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that the hospitality sector has been the sector most adversely affected, evidenced in the 75% decline international tourism arrivals in 2020 and a 45% reduction in 2021,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“Thankfully, the sector is rebounding after the government took some bold and decisive measures which saved lives, livelihoods and businesses as well as through the global easing of restrictions.
“We want to use tourism as an effective tool for economic transformation which will help to create jobs and prosperity for the people. That is why government with the support of international partners, is investing heavily in key tourism attractions which will in turn, boost tourists’ arrival this year and beyond,” he added.
In line with the plan of his administration quest to boost the tourism and hospitality sector, President Akufo-Addo noted that his government plans “to build a state of the art tourism and hospitality training school in Accra”.
“The 10 million US dollar facility will serve West Africa and provide customer care training to operators in the tourism hospitality value chain. We customers are happy and delighted, they do not only stay longer in hotels, but also spend more and likely to return in future with family and friends” Akufo-Addo said.
“Building the capacity of tourism players is therefore important in our quest to be the tourism destination of West Africa. Our focus over the next 18 months, is to exploit our culture, heritage, history, hospitality and beautiful natural scenery to attract tourists, fun lovers and leisure seekers hoping to find a unique experience in Africa” he added.
President Akufo-Addo, congratulated the owner of Alisa hotel, Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, his business partners and management and staff of Alisa hotel for the latest addition to their company.
He wished all the stakeholders of Alisa hotel great success as they continue to build their brand across the country and beyond.
“For many of us who have had the opportunity of knowing him, we are aware it has not been an easy journey for him. What we are seeing today is the result of commitment, dedication, and hard work”.
Support of T & H sector
Mr Kwame Ofosu Bamfo, in his address, recalled the business journey he and his partners have had to travel in order to build Alisa hotel to what it is today, boasting of over 300 guest rooms, 14 conference facilities and employing over 500 staff.
He called on government to as a matter of priority, offer direct assistance to players in the tourism and hospitality sector in order to boost their potential of job creating.
“I take this opportunity to appeal to government to offer some respite to the industry in relation to access to credit, and concessionary interests. This will help boost activity in the industry and create jobs for our teeming youth, both skilled and unskilled,” Ofosu Bamfo said.