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05.06.2004 Business & Finance

Ghanaian hospitality industry needs competence- Jake

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Accra, June 5, GNA- Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of Capital City has cautioned hoteliers not to make profit for the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality and neglect the upgrading of professional competence in the industry.

"It is not enough for our people in the industry to be hospitable to tourists and guests, but also we must endeavour to provide the staff and workers with periodic professional and quality training that will enable the hotel industry to thrive," he said.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey who was opening a new three-star hotel, "Dutchotel Nshonaa", located at the Nungua Beach, Accra said human resource development and professional training was important to the sustainable development of the tourism sector adding "the Ministry is making frantic efforts to ensure that private sector tourism and hospitality service providers train their staff to guarantee value for money.

"These in turn will beckon tourists to make repeat visits and help increase tourists revenue for our nation and for our enterprises," he said.

Mr Obetsebi-lamptey said Ghana's ability to maintain its competitiveness in the sub-region depends largely on intensifying public-private partnership in the development and marketing of attractive tour packages for prospective international and domestic tourists.

"We want to pool our resources together and work closely to address the challenge of Ghana being perceived as an expensive destination," he added.

He announced that the new investment code has offered attractive concessions such as tax incentives to attract more private sector investment.

The Minister said the realization of government's strategic Action Plan to make Ghana a competitive and quality tourism destination by 2007 in Africa required much collaboration with stakeholders in the industry. Mr Nico Van Staalduuinen, Chief Executive Officer of the hotel said being the warmest, friendliest and most affordable in its class in the country, it has started planting coconut tress along the coastline to develop the area into a boulevard.

"Our goal is to try to environmentally upgrade the seaside of Nungua and generate income and employment for Ghanaians," he said. Mr Arie van der Wiel, Ducth Ambassador to Ghana described the country as a land rich with varieties of cultural heritage, which make her a special and different in Africa.

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