Most operators in the hospitality industry have geared up their activities for the 26th MTN Ghana 2008 football fiesta scheduled for January 20 to February 10 next year, in Ghana.
A visit to some major hotels in Accra by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) monitoring team revealed that hoteliers were making frantic preparations to host football fans from across the globe.
Some of the hotels visited were African Regent Hotel, Shangri-La, La Beach Hotel, Fiesta Royale Hotel, The New Coco Beach Resort, Golden Tulip, Novotel, and La Palm Royal Beach Hotel.
The acting Deputy Executive Director in charge of Operations of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), Mr Edwin Owusu-Mensah, said the board, in collaboration with the management of Cleaning Solutions Limited, had initiated a programme to promote a healthy hygienic environment within hotels in the country.
The programme was to improve and maintain international clean and hygienic standards in the hospitality industry before, during and after the tournament.
The management of Cleaning Solutions will offer free training for housekeeping, modern scientific trends in hotel wash-house operations, kitchen hygiene, maintenance, hands-on product demonstrations and cleaning monitoring.
The Executive Housekeeper of African Regent Hotel, Mrs Beatrice Archer, said, "We are taking advantage of the likely inflow of visitors to package more traditionally-focused activities for our clients."
She said to achieve its objectives, the hotel had been necessitated to regularly update and review standards to keep its operations in line with the national commitment to encourage and promote the rich Ghanaian culture, traditions and artworks.
Mrs Archer said the management of the hotel had also instituted on-the-job training for staff to inject new dynamism in service delivery, which had been a major bane of the Ghanaian hospitality industry and also to improve quality and standards to meet international specifications and attract more tourists.
"We are getting ready for the event to make Ghana proud and confirm the general perception of the noble Ghanaian hospitality.
"We have introduced and improved new standards according to international practices, tailor made-in-Ghana products such as local foods and display of cultural artefacts," she stated.
The Chief Executive Officer of Cleaning Solutions, Mr Kofi Ankomah Asamoah, said that a team of experts would visit selected premises to assess and arrange special training programmes to improve their standards.
He said the standards of cleaning and hygiene were basic determinant factors in quality assurance and reflect the image of a destination or an establishment, hence the promotion.
The managements of hotels visited told the GNA that they had outlined strict security arrangements to protect guests and other visitors, ward off prostitutes, make their clients comfortable in Ghana and provide hospitality of the highest standard with a blend of authentic African tradition, music and culture.