Ghana's hospitality industry received a boost on Thursday when Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) signed an agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Workers' Union (ICU) to train, inject and maintain high sense of professionalism and standards into the sector.
The agreement would enable both parties to develop and implement well-designed training programme and human resource development activities for players in the tourism sector to make them internationally competitive.
It would also enable them to develop a curriculum for vocational training in the sector to have a qualitative and coherent training system.
Mr Martin Mireku, Acting Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board, who witnessed the signing of the agreement, described the arrangement by the two bodies as unique and timely. "I am optimistic that the programme will largely help to improve standards in the industry.
"The agreement if efficiently operated will give us, (Ghana Tourist Board) lots of mileage to improve standards at tourism facilities and sites in the country," Mr Mireku said. Mrs Stella Appenteng, President of GHATOF, who signed for the Federation, pledged the Federation's readiness and commitment to ensure that the conditions that bounded them together were implemented to their mutual benefit.
She said their commitment stemmed from the GHATOF's cardinal aim to ensuring that all establishments in the industry took training seriously to improve standards and to bring hotels to an internationally acceptable level.
Mr Solomon Kotei, Deputy General Secretary, Administration of ICU, who signed on behalf of the Union, said the ICU had a big responsibility since almost two-thirds of hotels were under the ambit of the Union. "We, therefore, should be concerned and to ensure that standards of professionalism are upheld to match international level," he said, adding that families owned most hotels in Ghana and it was imperative to find ways to make them to conform to the norms in the industry. ICU is the largest trade union in Ghana with more than 75,000 members at more than 1,000 workplaces.
It represents workers in banks, insurance and financial institutions, hotel, catering and allied undertakers, retail and commercial undertakings, general industries, public boards and corporations, professional and managerial staff and many others.