December in GH: Tourism Authority holds customer service capacity training in Tamale


Ahead of the ‘December in GH festivities’, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) together with key partners has organised a stakeholder engagement and customer service training programme in Tamale, targetting the informal sector in a bid to promote domestic tourism.

The programme was organised with support from the Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture and the Ghana Tourism of Federation (GHATOF) in partnership with stakeholders from the tourism industry, including the Traditional Caterers Association (TCA) and Beyond December Secretariat.

It brought together more than 60 participants from the informal sector, particularly from the food sub-sector. Other participants include staff of the Centre for National Culture, musicians, tour-guide associations and officers from the Ghana National Fire Service in Tamale.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr. Ekow Sampson, in an interview with the B&FT noted that in 2019 about 1.1 million tourist arrivals were recorded in Ghana – which helped generate approximately US$3.3billion dollars for the tourism industry from the Year of Return initiative.

“Since then, we have implemented a number of programmes including ‘Beyond the Return’ which is a 10-year plan. Out of it, we have also come out with ‘December in GH’ – and for the past three years it has been one of the major drivers of tourist arrivals in Ghana. Due to this, Ghana has been named one of the top holiday destinations in the world,” he said.

He further noted that it is part of the GTA’s efforts to promote domestic tourism, hence training for the informal sector since they are promoters of local Ghanaian foods and also will be dealing with tourists directly. The informal sector’s activities can either attract or drive away tourists, and the lessons learned should be applied beyond the end-of-year festivities.

He also disclosed that the training has already taken place in other places across the country, including Accra and Kumasi.

A representative of the Director-Centre for National Culture, Tamale, Antoinette Dzorgbenyuie Lesta, commended GTA for building the informal sector’s capacity to enhance quality service delivery.

She called on informal caterers to put into effective practice whatever they have been taught. She also advised them to include other aspects of Ghanaian culture – such as music, dance and dress – while rendering their services.

The training facilitator, Yvonne Ohui MacCarthy, noted that the sessions focused on five key elements of consumer service – look and feel, portraying a good attitude, knowledge acquisition, processes and procedures, as well as upselling and cross-selling.

“We believe that the training will go a long way to prepare them adequately for their prospective customers, who will be coming from December all the way to mid-January in 2023 and even beyond,” the facilitator said.

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