GTA to ease stress of doing tourism business...engages agencies to collaborate

June 27, 2017
Source: Rashidatu IBRAHIM/thebftonline.com/Ghana
GTA to ease stress of doing tourism business...engages agencies to collaborate

The Ghana Tourism Authority, together with some agencies including other regulatory bodies are in discussions aimed at adopting an inter-agency model to help ease stress of doing business in the tourism industry, Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Akwesi Agyemang has disclosed.

This, he noted will go a long way to improve quality of service of these businesses, and subsequently boost the sector's economic potentials.

Mr. Agyemang made this known in an interview with the B&FT on the side-lines of the Akwaaba Forum, which is part of the Citi Business Festival held in Accra last week.

He further alluded that, some the current ways of regulating these businesses, for instance, during inspections, may be suffocating and discouraging to business owners, hence, the need for a common source of information-checking.

"I think the way we go about our work; that is, the various agencies “GTA, FDA, EPA, and the other regulatory bodies“ suffocate the operators in a way.

Because we are dealing with especially, budget hotels and because these are sometimes one person owned entities, and if we have GTA going this week, FDA goes next week, the following week Fire Service, I think it is discouraging and worrying.

They see it as the public service, so why don't we collaborate and say that maybe we have a week of inspections and we all go together and ask the various questions so that they do not have to be repeating themselves," he noted.

The forum was aimed at addressing challenges in the tourism and hospitality industry, and new ways of addressing those challenges.

During a panel session at the event, the Authority's CEO also reiterated his outfit's commitment to use technology and a lot of collaborations with other entities  and ministries to change the face of the industry in the coming years to boost the economy.

This move, he noted, will allow all relevant stakeholders to have better understanding and appreciation of the challenges faced by the sector, and be willing to help curb them.

"Let us even escalate that to an inter-ministerial conversation so that the issues of let's say road networks; GTA cannot build roads for tourist attractions, but if it is taken up at the ministerial level where the minister of roads is part of a committee with the minister of tourism and the minister of environment, then they begin to appreciate some of the challenges and they begin to tackle them."

"With some new strategies to lift the face of Ghana, we are also developing a new App and website which will give us more features and I believe this is part of deepening the information flow in the sector."