Sun, 30 Sep 2007 Feature Article

Hygiene and Tourism

Hygiene and Tourism

Tourism is becoming the main income-generating factor in most countries. Turkey, Malaysia, Britain, Thailand and others are all in this industry.

There are certain qualities necessary to enter this particular industry for example customer care, customer services, principle of marketing etc.

The Minister of Trade and Tourism feels Ghana is ready to enter such a competition with other players in this market.

Ghana coastal areas are laced with white sand; beautiful air, greenery and these elements are the money generating grounds yet sanitation around our coastal areas questionable?

Sanitation around Ghana 's money generating grounds are diabolical : True or false

Are there toilets facilities at every beach resort or open beaches with washing facilities?

Our nearest neighbour, Togo with its limited coastal areas used to be the Paris of Ghana with shops, café' boutiques all along the coast.

Does Ghana have the above mentioned facilities buzzing with an ambience of tourism?

Where do the vulnerable poor locals all along our coastal areas use as toilets?

Has the Minister of Trade and Tourism been around such places during the late evening, night or early morning to see that sort of activities he wishes to show the tourist booking a flight to come to Ghana?

Hygiene is just too poor.

A comprehensive clean up of the state of sanitation around this industry is needed to match the facilities Ghana offers the tourists, if we want to stand a chance.

I'm aware that the Minister has visited many countries and liasing with his counterparts everywhere: True: false.

However to what extent does this sort of visit do to improve our dire hygiene status of the coastal areas. Improvements will benefit locals as well as tourists.

Is there a community development fund set up with backing from the rural banks to ensure that every community takes ownership of providing toilet facilities along each town, village or city?

What is the role of the community leader or chief or police in this tourist industry?

One would assume that, the Minister is actively working in partnership with the person that matters to the tourists, the local's leaders.

Do Ghana has a community development worker who links up with the community and reports back finding through a qualitative research or survey for the minister?

Does Ghana coastal areas have trained lifeguards?

Do we have signs posts indicating directions to our beaches?

Are there any lazy chairs (deckchair) or parasols (umbrellas) for hire along the beaches, or bike hire and etc?

There shops or mini desect stall selling peanut cakes, cooked peanuts, coconuts with straw, coconut cake, tea and coffee etc and other snacks.

Are there any shops selling mini buckets , plastic spade, plastic shovel to be used by children for sandcastles, catching small fishes and others, swimming costume, plaster or first aid box, sweets, post cards and stamps all along every beach? Also sunlotions, shea butter cream in min mercy cream tub could be sold for 3 - 6 ,000 each.

Hey!! What is the business deal Ghana is showing off to tourist? Are you ready to cash in on that?

Why do we want the tourist to go all the way to Accra to buy a postcard or stamp to send off to friends. These items is expected to be sold around beaches.

We don't appear to think outside the box : True : false

Why do we have to plead poverty when ever we see the tourists instead of doing opening and closing a business deal..

The tourists should be seen us , friends, business partners and potenial investors .

We need to use all marketing strategies and also our warmness to ensure that tourist get a good deal while on our soil..

If any one fails to make a good profit then they may need to go back to the drawing board or back to the marketing principles to evaluate where they went wrong..

Using the right friendly marketing skill, the right tones and right soft words ensures a satisfactory outcome in business terms.

Are there restaurants along the beaches with tight lid bins all along our beaches?

Have we considered setting up areas for hawkers to perch their wares instead of tormenting the tourists?

Though , tourists love to shop locally and love the bargaining deal with hawkers the Minister of Trade may need to set the boundaries for them to operate along the beaches.

Tourists love to soak up the sun as it is very limited where they come from.

In Ghana, most of us feel rather uncomfortable when tourists strip down to soak the sun. We could zone some beach areas for sunbathers – no one should be offended then – and it would help concentrate tourist services next to the customers. However we should not bar access to local people – we need their support, we just need a few rules and zones to make them feel inclusive in the deal..

Wind breakers would be ideal item for them to hire for Sun bathers privacy ( stripping down to soak the sun)

This wind breaker would be a good money generating income for others tailors or the cloth repairers..

The material for making the wind breakers is the red & white bags or blue &white bags many use for travelling. It needs to be sewn with strong peg or sticks in between then. Perhaps 18 ins apart.

These wind breaker is easy to make and any one working around katamato could use it and hire it for the toruist for at least 10 ,000 cedis a session use.

Water is essential and a light refreshment around the beaches or mini resturant would be ideal. I'm sure the Minister of trade and Tourism during his visit to other market leaders in this trade realise how far Ghana needs to catch up.

The whole country needs to be educated daily on once a week on TV,radio, markets about the trick of this industry. Getting it right from the start is crucial to the success of Ghana's economy.

If the Minister does not start educating the public now disaster would follow soon

Do we have many co-operative shops for the tourist to pop in other than kiosk and markets?

It might be worth considering an open debate for the public to air their views about our newly found industry. The Minister may find that the public may also see things from a three dimenison point of view and though painful to hear it adds an impetus in the bid to a positive image this new industry.

Ghanaians should not unload their poverty status to the tourist but rather start planning now what startegies they would need in order to make a decent money in the tourism business.

There is money for everyone to make in the tourist trade.

Hygiene and food handling is also a hot stuff. Foods sold openly for example even fresh bread should be perhaps sold inside instead of being expose to dirt, wind and rain.

It appears these areas may need to fully address to enable the tourists to recommend their experiences to others.

Although the Minister of Trade and his team are actively working this new industry, I would recommend they try and visit our coastal lines at night to witness the unwelcoming activities at dawn, and night . It would then be worth addresssing those concerns observed before embarking on a full scale promotion of tourism in Ghana on CNN

It would be helpful if The Ministry of Trade and Tourism do monitor , review and evelaute our service through a system of evaluating every contact made with each tourist in order to in corporate any negative feedback into improvement with the services provided.

Food handlers may need to be issued with a certificate to display which indicate that they have passed a routine food and hygiene mini course.

Hygiene and tourism does go hand in hand and as such the responsibility of every community leader e.g. the church, mosques, chiefs and community to join forces and play a key role in making our dreams in the tourist industry a true reality.