world tourism day
world tourism day

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.

Business24

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.

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