The Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana as part of its mandate to transform the tourism industry in Ghana visits hotels as mystery guests to give owners a true picture of their operations. We are at Takoradi beach road in the western region.
It’s the Airport City or East Legon of Accra. This is where most top-class hotels are congregated. The oil boom and the fact that Cape Coast and the Western Region are tourist sites may be the reasons many hotels are here. In a 500 meters diameter you could touch more than 10 hotels virtually giving the same service— bed breakfast and conferencing facilities. Having been here for three days, all hotels visited are either half-full or empty.
Front desk officers
At Red Mango where we lodged was a first-degree holder in tourism from the University of Cape Coast. Her work impresses the team so much that she gets the opportunity to be nominated by us for a meeting with the Australian high commissioner as a way of rewarding her warm smile even as she did not know who we are. The hotel provides an exclusivity to its guests— food, drinks, among others is exclusively for the lodging guests for privacy. An apartment hotel, it offers guests a living room, kitchen, a bedroom and bathroom, and a niche market for expatriates who have plans on staying a bit longer than usual.
At one of the hotels we visited, there was no security, no reception and the door-bell broke right in our hand. Inside, there was no guest and no sign of business. There were pretty many others that looked virtually dead. It is clear too many hotels are chasing few clients coming to town for business or leisure.
The hospitality industry’s solution in Takoradi to survive this glut will have to give guests a real experience. Customer experience is the result of every interaction a customer has with your business, from navigating the website to talking to customer service and receiving the product/service they bought from you. Everything you do impacts your customers’ perception and their decision to keep coming back or not—so a great customer experience is your key to success.
Customers are not just looking for a place to lay their heads and food to eat. They are looking for the opportunity to be helped and pampered. It is to this end that the Chamber for Tourism and Stanbic Bank are putting together a customer service training to managers to become ambassadors for the tourism industry. 50 top managers in the hotel and travel industry will be trained for two days at the plush Stanbic heights.
Google offers to train hoteliers
Google will join the training with a workshop on online optimization. As part of the package, the Google team will also activate google verification for the various businesses and sponsor with website development and hosting for a year. This forms part of the Chamber for Tourism’s holistic plan of digitising the tourism sector. The Chamber for Tourism has a training plan for 1000 people in the tourism sector to make Ghana a business tourism hub for the whole of Africa as the country hosts the African Continental Free Trade Agreement headquarters.