Dr. Mohammed Awal
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), have launched an all-in-one app and platform to enhance service quality across the tourism value chain.
The app, ‘Visit Ghana’, developed under the National Tourism Destination Single Window, seeks to bring service providers in Ghana’s tourism sector and customers into one market place by streamlining their services and operations.
Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Mohammed Awal, who launched the app at a short ceremony in Accra, commended the GTA for the initiative, saying it falls within the national tourism plan to create one million jobs in the sector.
He said the app would help to make service providers more visible to prospective customers but was quick to add that their services must live up to international standards.
Urging them to see tourism as a money creation venture, Dr. Awal said they must work towards excellence in service provision.
“Why can’t Ghana make $5 million from tourism, a year, Isha Allah, we will do it,” he opined, adding that “In the last quarter of this year we are expecting 250,000 visitors and you should treat them well by providing excellent services, being customer friendly and observing international standards.”
GTA CEO, Akwasi Agyeman, noted that the app was developed following the discovery of the low level of information technology use across the tourism industry.
He said almost 50 per cent of operators had no computer at their establishments while less than 30 per cent of the tourism operators were not plugged into any of the global systems available for tourism.
“Interestingly the mobile phone has become a very useful tool for a lot of operators with about 80 per cent of the operators doing business by the use of the mobile phone, so it became very clear that having an app will have better up-take,” he explained.
Mr. Agyeman indicated that the app which is free, will help digitise the country’s tourism business while providing real time data for policy makers and investors.
“Since the app was officially made live, we have had over 200 providers sign up and we are looking at having 5,000 operators using the app,” he noted.
President, Ghana Tourism Federation, Bella Ahu, indicated that the app is a game changer in the industry, and urged providers to subscribe and make use of the platform to reposition and expand their businesses to the global community.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Emmanuella Atobua Omari