THE HOSPITALITY subsector in the tourism product-mix covers accommodation, catering, food, beverages and entertainment facilities.
The Ghanaian hospitality industry has seen sustained and exponential phenomenal growth in both quality and quantity over the years. It has also stood-out as the biggest and largest growth area in Ghana’s tourism-mix and has firmly cemented its position as the front burner for Ghana’s fledging infant tourism industry which has effectively also rebranded the country as an attractive emerging tourism hub and above all has ushered Ghana’s tourism development onto the path of gradual growth of stature, glamour and class.
The Director of Standards & Quality Assurance (D/S&QA) at the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Alex Boakye, in an interview with the Business and Financial Times tourism desk in Accra yesterday observed, “the Ghanaian hospitality subsector stands tall as the poster star cash-cow that make Ghana’s tourism growth and evolution very colourful in the overall tourism-mix out and above all repositioned Ghana as an emerging attractive destination in the ever growing and competitive international tourism index rating “.
The Director S&QA said, “the hospitality sector as Ghana’s tourism lifeline is shaped by brands and facilities that can be classified by two broad categories as indigenous and foreign brands and practitioners respectively ‘’.
Information gleaned from Hospitality Statistics (HS) from the Quality Assurance Directorate of the GTA made available to the Business and Financial Times tourism desk said the country has Eight Thousand, One Hundred (8,100) graded and licensed accommodation and catering facilities on its register as at the third quarter of 2021. Indigenous Brands
According to Mr. Boakye notable among prominent indigenous hospitality and catering brands and players that operate in the Ghanaian hospitality industry and contributed in diverse ways to positively , to shape Ghana’s tourism stature over the years in the country include Papaye Fast Foods, Traffix Catering Services, Joefel Catering, Frankkies, Azemera, Country Kitchen and Melcom Coffee. Others are Pipas Pizza, Food Inn, Peter pan and among others. The rest are Alisa Hotels, African Regent, Airport View, Accra City, Golden Beach Hotels, Royal Senchi Resorts and Tang Palace are prominent indigenous giant industry facilities that have impacted Ghana’s tourism outlook. Expatriates
Outstanding foreign hospitality brands and facility giants and operators on the other hand that have influenced and impacted the country’s infant and burgeoning evergreen tourism industry over the decades are Movenpic Ambassador, Holiday Inn ,Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City ,Marriott, Accra Southern Fried Chicken, Kentucky KFC, Pizza hut , Best Western Plus, Golden Tulip, Tulip Inn, Marriot, Protea others.
Other remarkable accommodation brands include Aborigines Beach Resorts, African Regent, Afrikiko Riverfront, Aqua Safari, Alisa Hotels, Atlantic Bay, Axim Beach, B&Q Resorts , Busua Beach Resort, Coconut Groove Regency, Elmina Beach Resort, City Escape, Rock City and Holiday Inn are other prominent hospitality brands that have dominated the country’s hospitality industry over the years. Maaha Beach Resort, Sekina Glory, Sogakope Beach Resort and Villa Cisneros are other known and popular hospitality facilities which have in one way or the other promoted and make the country’s infant tourism industry very flamboyant and attractive. The rest are Golden Beam, Eusbett, La Villa Boutique, Keta Beach, Peduase Valley, White Dove and others.
Business and Fiancial Times tourism desk (BFT-TD) has stumbled on an action-oriented veteran and expatriate hospitality industry practitioner Mr. Sajid Khan (MSK), who doubled as the General Manager of Tang Palace Hotel, Accra, during BFT tourism scouts monitoring exercise at hospitality facilities across the country on how the hospitality and the tourism industries are bouncing and recovering after the dibilitating and devastating corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
BFT-TD caught-up with Mr. Khan for a brief interview yesterday, please sit back and enjoy the ensuing interaction with the action-oriented unassuming General Manager ;
BFT-TD : Goodafternoon Mr. Khan
MSK : Goodafternoon Dennis how are you doing Dennis ?
BFT-TD: What is the tourism industry’s recorvery outlook, especially from current occupany rate pespectives as compared 2019 , prior the lockdown era ?
MSK: The tourism industry recovery , especially Ghana’s looks positive but slow,it is on gradually recovery at about Sixty (60%) currently, as compared to 2019 prior to the lockdown, using room occupany rate as a bench mark, i think the industry’s recovery stands around 60%, the remaining 40% recovery make take another two (2)-years to fully bounce back.
BFT-TD : What are noted new and emerging tourism industry trends?
MSK : Noted new post COVID-19 era emerging trends are capitalizing and focusing on the health and safety policies among tourism faclities and patrons, grab and go meals, an urgent need to let information , communication and technology (ICT) savy strategy driven industry, including moblie room check-in and check-out systems,virtual hotel tour other than physical human inspections and interactions, ICT and technology have become indispensable to society, technology has huge, imense and diverse influence and impact on modern lifestyle and standard of living, especially what has become known as the global village as positive fallouts from modern science and technology.
BFT-TD: From where you sit as an astute, decorated and experienced industry practitioner, what you think is the major obstacle that is obstructing Ghana’s tourism rapid progress and what would recommend as the way forward for Ghana to break through into international competitive tourism ranking index ?
MSK : Ghana has incredible national tourism potential and all the soft skills to become competitive international tourisn hub and model destination , however the country has strugglling to break into international tourism ranking index, has been a huge national challenge prior to COVID-19 pandemic disruption, in oder to break the ceiling , it requires Ghana to take a critical look at tourism industry taxes and the general national tax regime , multiple tourism sector taxes translate into high and expensive room rates, hence Ghana’s difficulty to attract the needed patrons from both domestic and foreign markets, high electricity and water tarrifs also greatly affect the daliy poerational and other overhead costs, which are all direct and remote causes of higher room rates , hence Ghana’s taging as expensive destination, the country need to initiate and implement a raft of national tourism development reforms, including government investing substantialy into the the local tourism industry, improved government budgetary allocation and funding to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its implementing agencies among others tourism reforms .
…The Sajid Khan & Tang Palace Hotel Factors
. An astute and decorated veteran international hospitality facility administrator and management consultant, tourism practitioner and expert, his professional practice expolits has incredible impact on Ghana’s fledging hospitality,tourism industries development, indispensable and above all occupies very central and crucial position in Ghana’s overall national tourism development narrative
TOURISM is an inclusive and holistic universal multi-sectoral and multimillion dollar industry that is founded on man-made, natural , cultural and heritage resources and assets.
The Cultural-tourism subsector has been the foremost and the largest push and pull factor as tourism’s unique selling-point (T-USP) , as a cash-cow and is therefore very indispensable in the tourism-mix and so attracts and receives high premium and crucial strategic attention from smart and competitive concious destinations across the world.
Ghana’s tourism narrative, however, has strangely differed the universal industry normal routine, the hospitality industry has swapped position with culture as the front burner , strong and the solid rock which has influended, impacted and shaped Ghana’s fledging infant tourism industry progress, especially from the 90s to date.
The hospitality subsector as the foremost lead sector, as the frontline national tourism unique selling point (T-USP) and the overall national tourism cash-cow in the national tourism product-mix and outlook has a tall list of indigenous and expatriate facilities, brands and industry practitioners as the shakers and movers behind the hospitality sector’s burgeoning performance and incredible growth over the years.
Business and Financial Times tourism desk enquiries into the incredible and phenomenal performance of the hospitality subector which has changed tried , tested and proven universal industry status quo has chanced and stumbled on an interesting and inclusive hospitality industry rare and interesting untrumpeted information along the line.
BFT tourism desk investigations has found Mr. Sajid Ali Khan , an iconic and international veteran hospitality industry frontline practitioner and industry captain, trainer and major influencer whose professional practice and exploits have had tremendous impact on Ghana’s fledging tourism growth but remains an underground unsung hero in Ghana’s tourism development narrative, over the years.
One may ask who is Mr. Khan?
Mr. Sajid Khan is the current General Manager of Tang Palace Hotel, a leading 4-Star, One Hundred and Sixteen (116)-room hospitality facility, at Roman Ridge, Accra.
Rare credentials, hospitality facility development consultant & administrative pedigrees
BFT tourism desk has discovered that Mr. Sajid Khan, an expatriate, is a veteran is a man of rare credentials and incredible practice expirience and impecable pedigrees and disposition. He is a hospitality industry practitioner, facility administrator and a leader of a different breed , stock, disposition.
Action Oriented Leader
The internationally decorated hospitality facility consultant and industry expert is an action oriented leader, whose lot and stock in trade is to be actively involved and is always very much involved in the up to the minute action and activities in the service dilivery chain to clients and cutomers at facilities that he manages, he is such an incredible action oriented and multi-tasking team leader, who hardly sits in his office to issue out instructions but is rather very much involved at the action centres ,including the front desk and other demanding areas at the facility customer care chain , to ensure his clients have the best of care worth their money’s value at facilities under his care together with his liutenants, an observant cutomer at a facility managed and adminstered by Mr. Khan on usual and normal busy days would enconter him at odd places including front desk, swimming pool, bar and others and may errenously mistook the calm speaking ,warm and friendly General Manager as a client who is seeking services from the facility, but for his appropriate shining silver plated name tag gives him out, as the man in charge.
The above incredible characteristics , disposition , remarkable professional practice, expiriences, expertise and perdigrees of Mr. Khan mark him out as an indispensable player with unssailable record and chapter in Ghana’s hospitality and tourism development narratives.
Aside the above rare and incredible credentials, Mr. Khan also hold a the peerless unique record as the longest expatriate hospitality industry practitioner, hospitality facility management consultant and industry practitioner , who has made huge impact and contribution to the phenomenal growth and development in the Ghanaian hospitality and tourism industry over the years, as an oustanding practitioner with an impecable chapter in Ghana’s tourism development history.
Mr. Sajid Khan , the General Manager of Tang Palace is a decorated and an oustanding hospitality faclity adminstrator and tourism industry practitioner and consultant par excellence.
He joined the Ghanaian hospitality industry in 2003 on secondment from Cresta Hospitality Limited, an international hospitality brand, which has facilities in South Africa,Botsowana and Zimbabwe, as the first and facility opening General Manager of then Cresta Royale Hotel now Fiesta Royale Hotel, along NI Highway at Dzorwulu, Accra.
He has working spells with Cresta Jameson, Cresta Oasis and Cresta Lodge hotels in Harare, Zimbabwe, before setting office in Ghana.
Hands-on & action-oriented Adminstrator
The veteran hospitality facility adminstrator and industry practitioner is an incredible, assuming practical, hands and action-oriented and multi-tasking team leader, who hardly sits in his office to issue out instructions but is rather very much involved at the action centres ,including the front desk and other demanding areas in the facility customer care chain , to ensure his clients has the best of care worth their money’s value in facilities under his care and his lieutenants , an observant cutomer at facility managed and adminstered by Mr. Khan on normal busy day would enconter him at odd places including front desk, sweeming pool, bar and others and errenously mistook the calm speaking ,warm and friendly General Manager as a client seeking services from the facility, but for his appropriate shining silver plated name tag, which gives him out, as the man in charge.
He had working stints with such international hospitality facility brands such as Golden Tulip, Intercontinental and Sheraton from diverse cultures across Africa with facilities in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Karachi Pakistan, the Middle East, Zambia, Zimbabwe and others.
The robust and dynamic hospitality facility and tourism industry perdigree is not limited to only facility adminstration and management , he is also well versed in Finance. He is an oustanding team leader, with humility and very much acessible to his subodinates, whose welfare and progress is of outmost priority to him. He is very sociable and easliy aquintance with people at all levels, communicate and exchange ideas with his colleagues and compititors , industry regulators, suppliers and customers among others.
Tang Palace Hotel
Mr. Khan assumed office as the founding General Manager of Tang Palace Hotel, in August 2015, when the 4-Star ,116-room facility ,hospitality and tourism giant commenced business and operation in the Ghanaian hospitality and tourism industry.
Mr. Khan’s impecable and oustanding contributions to the growth and development of the Ghanaian tourism and hospitality industries have not gone unnoticced, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) have decorated him for his remakable contribution to t growth of Ghana’s tourism industry over the years.
The veteran international decorated hospitality and tourism industry adminstrator, practitioner and consultant holds Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree from Karachi in Pakistan and also obtained graduate degree in Hotel Management from Cornel University in the United Staes of America, (USA).
Mr. Sajid Khan a Zimbabwean national , is not only a veteran astute hospitality facility adimistrator and manager in Ghana, but is also on record as the most expirienced and longest expatriate tourism and hospitality industry practitioner in Ghana’s fledging tourism industry. He enjoys jollof rice, tilapia and other local dishes served with goat light soup as his favourite Ghanaian dishes. The astute and decoarted vetearn international tourism expert and consutant is married with four adult and independent children. He enjoys football as his hobby.
Mr. Khan receives one of his numerous meritorious awards from Osabarima Kwesi Attah11, paramount chief of Ogua, whilst Mrs. Barbara Oteng Gaysi, the immediate Ex-Minister of MOTAC looks on.
Tourism Act 2011 @11 & Matters Arising… (1)
LEGISLATIONS and Legal Regimes (L&LRs) are very crucial and indispensable ingredients which serve as fuel and energy that shape and propel the health, sustenance and progress of competitive professions and vocations all over the world.
Ghana’s burgeoning and evergreen infant tourism industry has the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 that has foothold on tourism as the most domineering legislation and legal regime that set the parameters for the operation and conduct of business, businesses and practitioners in the Ghanaian tourism space.
The legislative piece went through the rigorous legislation process, including stakeholder consultations, engagements, public memorandum, amendments, debates and its eventual passage into law in 2011.
The legislative piece received Presidential Assent on 16th May, 2011, to become effective and binding law on our statues.
The Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 stands apart and taller among all other tourism related laws as the most tourism space domineering legislative piece which holds sway over other national tourism nomenclature as currently composed.
There are four (4) main key provisions on the Tourism Act that make the Law stood out as a remarkable legislative piece apart from others and repositioned it to hold sway over other tourism related enactments on our statues and also dominate Ghana’s burgeoning infant tourism industry. These characteristics of the Tourism Act are ;
The legislative piece is suitably designated as the Tourism Act (TA) and appropriately prefaced so as , “an act to establish the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA), to regulate the tourism industry and to provide for related matters, with the object to promote the sustainable development of the of the tourism industry internationally and within the country.”
Regional & District GTAOs
The Tourism Act made very commendable effort to decentralize national tourism development by creating regional and district offices of the Ghana Tourism Authority GTA/ROs) and (GTA/Dos) , as provided for in sections fifteen (15) and sixteen (16) in the law respectively.
Tourism Development Levy/ Fund & Its Object
Also the enactment in sections twenty-one (21) to twenty-four (24) created the Tourism Development Levy/ Fund (TDL/F), as statutory tax that is solely dedicated to support national tourism development.
Section twenty-two (22) of the Law spelt-out the object and the use of the TDL/F, specifying the areas for which monies from the TDL/F shall be applied for relevant tourism activities as the GTA Governing Board may determine including in particular, “marketing and promotion of tourism , capacity building , market research and development of tourism infrastructure , development and promotion of other entrepreneurial activities, tourism export trade-oriented activities of institutions, and tourism education and training”.
Sources of Funding for TDL/F
Section twenty-three (23) of the Tourism Act on the other hand additionally provided the sources of Funding to fund TDL/F, to include seed capital from the government, one percent (1%) payable by a patron of a tourism enterprise specified in the Schedule, donations and grants, moneys earned by the operation of any project, enterprise financed from the Fund or investments and other moneys that the Minister for Finance in consultation with the Minister for Tourism, may determine with the approval of Parliament.
Public-Private Partnership Forum
The tourism sector and its industries are outstanding strategic , dynamic and very unique public-private promoted industry, where the public sector creates the enabling and attractive ecosystems and enabling environments by enacting suitable and investor friendly laws, regulations and guidelines, tax rebates among others and the private sector explores and leverage on the enabling ecosystem with suitable and cutting edge investments and businesses to develop and grow the industry, whose multiplier effects create job opportunities, alleviate poverty, road infrastructure, rare foreign exchange, growth and development of the arts and artifacts , cultural, hospitality, food, beverage, textiles, clothing and fashion industries among others.
The Tourism Act 2011, appropriate recognizes the strategic and important role of the public-private partnership in the tourism value-chain in section forty-two (42), saying , “ there shall be a Public-Private Partnership Forum (P-PPF), that is organized by MOTAC in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Private Sector, which is organized and lead by the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), “to encourage public-private partnerships, to promote tourism development opportunities, the Forum shall be used by MOTAC to interact with the private sector.
The Ministry reconstituted the current ten (10)-member tourism public-private partnership forum (P-PPF) committee and inaugurated by Dr. Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed AWAL, MOTAC Minister on 25th November, 2021.
The P-PPF membership consisted of Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), GTA, serves as the Chairman of P-PPF, Mr. Isaac Asiam, is Director of P-PPF, Mrs. Naa Ashiorkor, as the Administrator and Secretary.
Other members include Dr. Geoffrey Deladem Tamakloe, Director, Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME/MOTAC), Mrs. Josephine Ohene Osei, Director, Arts and Culture (A&C/MOTAC), Mr.Kwadwo Odame Antwi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ghana Tourism Development Company Limited, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyameke, President, Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), Mr. Seth Ocran, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), Yorks Car Rentals and President of Car Rentals Association of Ghana , Mr. Kwesi Eyison, Vice President of Ghana Tourism Federation and Prof. Kweku Boakye, Ex-Dean, Department of Tourism, University of Cape Coast.
Aside Act 817 as the most domineering Tourism Law on our statues, there are a number of other enactments on our statues that are applicable together with the Tourism Act as suitable and applicable subsidiary laws that set the parameters for the conduct, operation and conduct of tourism business in the Ghanaian jurisdiction.
These laws include the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) Act 1969, NLCD 387, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) Law 1990, PNDCL 238, the Cultural (C) and the Culture Trust Fund (CTF) Policy 2004, the Film Classification, (FC), Film Development (FD) , Film Development Fund (FDF) and the National Film Authority (NFA) Act 2016, Act 935 and the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and the Creative Arts Industry Development Fund (CAIDF) Act 2020, Act 1048 among others.
The Writer is Tourism, Brands & Branding, Communication & Marketing Consultant, Practitioner, Analyst, Advocate & Activist