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07.12.2005 Regional News

Players in the hospitality industry asked to maintain quality

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Elmina (W/R), Dec. 7, GNA - The head of the tourism development unit of the Central Region Development Commission (CEDECOM), Mrs Ama Abraham, on Wednesday tasked operators in the hospitality industry to maintain quality service as a crucial ingredient for the growth of their businesses. She said added value would help them to stay in business because the industry was becoming highly competitive.

Mrs Abraham was speaking at the opening of a two-day training programme for staff in the housekeeping, and food and beverage departments of hotels in the Central Region. The workshop, organised by CEDECOM, was geared towards improving service delivery in the industry to enhance the tourism sector in the region. Mrs Abraham observed that the hospitality industry in Ghana was beset with "complacency in management, disregard for customer concerns and inattention to quality", and said the training programme was to address these concerns. She said to compound the situation; employees responsible for customer contact were also poorly paid, and least educated or trained. Mrs Abraham pointed out that food and beverage and house keeping departments, "could make or break" a facility, and called for more attention to them. She also called for prompt response to customer complaints, in order to win their loyalty. "A dissatisfied customer will tell about five other more people," she added.

Professor Kofi Awusabo-Asare, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), said customers were the most effective advertising tools and must therefore be given the best of services and value for their money. He advised hotel and restaurant managers to be time conscious, stressing that they would only make progress if they kept to time and improved and repackaged their services. The executive director of CEDECOM, Mr John Akowuah, urged the participants to make conscious efforts to improve their service delivery to attract more tourists to the region.

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