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29.10.2005 Regional News

Hospitality Industry players upgrade skills

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Bolgatanga, Oct. 29, GNA - Forty-two personnel in the Hospitality Industry in the Upper East Region have for the past week received training that would help them meet the national standard requirements of the Industry.

They were taken through skills in telephone communication, front office customer care, workplace ethics, fire safety, first aid, hygiene and security during the session, which was sponsored by Ghana Tourist Board (GTB).

Speaking at the closing ceremony on Friday, Ms. Mary Agangmikre, Regional Manager of GTB, noted that the number of guestrooms and hotels in the region were inadequate because most of them were residential houses that had been converted.

As a result, she said, the hotels could not accommodate most of the guests when there were big national programmes in the region. Ms Agangmikre urged potential investors in the Hospitality business to consider coming to the Upper East Region, which she said had great potentials for expansion.

Reverend Father Lazarus Anondee, a Catholic Priest, who presided over the function, suggested that Municipal and District Assemblies in the region should reduce their tax rates to enable hoteliers save more and expand their businesses.

He urged hotel workers to treat their customers well, saying, "You have to work hard at finding ways to keep your customers comfortable for without them you will not be in business".

Mr. Isaac Nsoh Amoah, Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive, asked the participants to use the knowledge they had acquired to prepare their hotels for two upcoming national events -- The National Farmers Day and The World AIDS Day -- that would be taking place in the region in December.

"I appeal to all hotels, restaurants, chop bars and drinking spots to put their premises and facilities in order. I also urge that our tourist attractions should be well prepared to offer best hospitality to the visitors", he said.

Mr. Charles Osei-Bonsu, Deputy Executive Director of GTB, said the training programme would cover the entire country and benefit 2,000 people in the hospitality business. He said the tourism industry in the country was doing well and needed the contribution of all sectors to keep it expanding.