‘VisitGHANA’ app launched to streamline tourism services

Starting a social project


Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, on Monday launched the ‘VisitGHANA’ app of the National Tourism Destination Single Window Project, dedicated to streamlining the services and operations of the Ghanaian tourism industry.

It is an all-in-one application and platform dedicated to service quality across the entire tourism value chain.

Dr Awal said the project would also provide real-time data for policymakers and investors, saying the app was free for all operators.

He said the government intends to create one million jobs by the end of 2024 from domestic and international tourism and this cannot be achieved if the players do not start operations as tourism operators.

Dr. Awal said the players in the value chain must have a new paradigm shift, a new model that tourism is not business as usual but a lot of money.

“We will train 10,000 operators within the tourism chain this year and early next years. Customer care is very important, people should not come and go and never come back, so these people will be trained, equipped with skills and competencies to ensure that Ghana becomes the number one tourist destination in Africa .”

He said the government also plans to engage hotel owners to make their signs bilingual to attract people from other West African countries and train tourism entrepreneurs. “We need to be modern and competitive, so under the Ghana case programme, the ministry is getting 100 million cedis and part of it will be used to improve tourist attractions to make the tourism sector competitive.”

“Let’s rededicate ourselves as industry players, be opportunistic entrepreneurs and look at the bigger picture, so if we do our jobs well and tourists come and go, we’ll make money and create jobs.”

The sector minister assured that the government will continue to improve the infrastructure for tourist attractions and make it work, but the joint efforts of the stakeholders are needed to make tourism respectable and turn it into a money making mechanism.

Mr. Akwesi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, said a few years ago they undertook a feasibility study on the industry to find out how ready the players are or how digitized their business is and the findings revealed that there is no level of use of digitized platforms across the breadth of practitioners.

“Almost 50 percent of the operators had no online services at all in their establishments, so all operations were done manually, but 80 percent of the transactions were done using the mobile phone and less than 30 percent of the operators logged into one of the the global system that was accessible to tourism.

Mr. Agyemang said that the demand and supply of tourism infrastructure is currently developing strongly on several platforms, yet most operators are lacking on such platforms.

“Feedback from the visibility survey showed that about 80 percent of the responses were eager for Ghana to have its own platform or its own means of engaging in transactions for its operators and this was the beginning of the process of deploying this national tourism one-stop shop project. “

He said that the platform is made stable enough and easy to use and has many advantages for the industry. “It’s affordable for any operator to be there with their own slides, upload their own services, photos, prices, so globally everyone can access what you’re offering. Anyone can belong to this market.

The project is categorized into three modules, the first of which is to focus on improving the tourism tax collection process to raise the necessary funding for destination marketing, capacity building and infrastructure projects, to automate GTA processes and ensure of seamless interface with relevant stakeholders and to promote Ghana as an attractive tourist destination.

Mrs Bela Ahu, the President of the Ghana Tourism Federation urged industry players to take advantage of this platform to go global, accelerate their products and services to become competitive so that when visitors come, they go and to return in the future.

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