Greater Accra Regional World tourism day marked in Accra

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By
Hafsa Obeng, GNA

Accra, Sept. 28, GNA
– The 2019 Greater Accra Regional World Tourism Day celebration has been marked
in Accra with a symposium for students, on the theme “Tourism and Jobs; a
better future for all”.

It was organised by
the Greater Accra, Ghana Tourism Authority, to give an insight into different
job opportunities in the sector and how the sector could help in national
development.

Mrs Adelaide Grace
Mensah-Kuffour, Senior Lecturer, Accra Technical University, said tourism was
the art, science, and business of attracting and transporting visitors,
accommodating them and catering for their needs and wants.

She said tourism
accounted for 10.4 per cent of the global GDP and 313 million jobs or 9.9
percent of total employment in 2017, while in Ghana it supported an estimated
682,000 jobs, in the same year.

She said tourism
would have difficulties finding enough qualified talents for the forecasted 80
million jobs yet to be generated over the next 10 years according to the World
Travel and Tourism Council, if academia was not linked to industry.

She said educational
institutions must strengthen their linkages with industry by providing courses
more related or geared towards the tourism industry in content and delivery.

Mrs Mensah-Kuffour
said some categories of job opportunities that would be available in the sector
in the next 10 years included; transportation, travel agencies, tour operation
companies, hotels, motels, restaurants, resorts, national and cultural attractions,
museums, monuments, forts, castles, festivals, trade shows, conferences and
exhibitions among others.

“Tourism can only
flourish when the youth decide to go through that carrier path, through
education to be qualified and committed in order to sustain that sector.”

She urged students
to be prepared to take full advantage of available opportunities, develop the
right attitude, mind their language, and appearance and seek experience in the
university career, which provided opportunities to learn the required soft
skills in the industry.

Mr Michael Ofori
Kyem, Principal Quality Assurance Officer, Greater Accra GTA said the WTD which
falls on September 27, was a day earmarked to create awareness on the
socio-cultural, political and economic importance, tourism plays in the global
community.

He said the theme
for this year’s celebration was in line with the UNWTO’s focus on skills and
education and all around the world the sector was the leading source of
employment offering millions of jobs opportunities in the accommodation sector,
food and beverage, travel trade among others.

He added that that
it also helped to create jobs in other sectors due to its forward and backward
linkages to many other industries.

Mr Kyem said as the
main implementer of tourism policies and the regulator of the tourism sector in
Ghana, it was the duty of the GTA to ensure that customer service was placed on
a high pedestal, and that conducts could be achieved and maintained in the
sector

This, he said, would
result in high profits, which would result in expansion of employment, in the
sector.

Mr Joseph Amartey,
Youth Tourism Ambassador, said “We need to train the youth to understand the
industry, in order for them to be able to choose their career path in tourism
irrespective of the courses offered in school.”

He said about 99
percent of people in the country belonged to the industry one way or the other
right from the informal sector to the formal sector, from the food we eat, what
we wear, the language we speak, the festivals among others.

GNA

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