Accra, Jan. 9, GNA - Mrs Bella Ahu, Director of Cook Art Ghana, has said the projected boost in tourism arrivals in 2007 and 2008 calls for a national policy for the catering industry to set guidelines and standards for "chop bars", vending, fast food outlets and restaurants. She said the Ghana Tourist Board and the Food and Drugs Board should, for instance, certify the traditional food caterer on basic food measures and standards. Mrs Ahu, who was also adjudged the Marketing Woman of Ghana in 2004, made the suggestion in a presentation at a symposium at the weekend at the 57th Annual New Year School at the University of Ghana (UG). The School, an annual extramural training programme of the Institute of Adult Education (IAE) of the UG that discussed topical issues of national interest, was on the broad theme: "Developing the Human Resource for Accelerated National Development." Mrs Ahu said Ghana's 50th anniversary celebration of independence in 2007, and the hosting of CAN 2008 in Ghana would make a huge impact on the hospitality industry.
The National Tourism Strategy Action Plan estimates that by 2007 tourist arrival would be one million as against about 584,000 in 2004. Changes in recent working trends with parents leaving home early and returning very late means that more people are eating outside. Mrs Ahu said the increase in tourist activities in the two years would impact hugely on the hospitality industry and the informal sector in the long run. She said the informal sector in the hospitality industry was faced with major challenges such as a weak human resources base, poor marketing, and low awareness on where and when to sell, inability to access loans and inability of government regulatory bodies to check standards. The hospitality industry, however, had huge prospects, Mrs Ahu said, and suggested that vocational and polytechnic graduates should be encouraged to take up businesses in the informal sector to change its face.