Launch of the one-stop-shop project for national tourist destinations
Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, on Monday launched the “VisitGHANA” application 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 quality of service throughout the tourism value chain.
Dr Awal said the project will also provide real-time data to policymakers and investors, saying the app is free for all operators.
He said the government intended to create a million jobs by the end of 2024 from domestic and international tourism, and this could not be achieved if the actors did not set up as the tourism operators.
Dr Awal said value chain actors need to have a new paradigm shift, a new model where tourism is not business as usual but a lot of money.
“We are going to train 10,000 operators in the tourism value chain this year and early in the years to come. Customer service is very important, people shouldn’t come and go and not come back, so these people would be. trained, equipped with the skills and competencies necessary to ensure that Ghana becomes the number one tourist destination in Africa. “
He said the government is also planning to hire hotel owners to make their signage bilingual in order to attract people from other West African countries and train tourism entrepreneurs. “We need to be modern and competitive, so under the Ghana case program the ministry is receiving 100 million cedis and part of it would be used to improve tourist attractions to make the tourism sector competitive.”
“Let’s renew ourselves as industry players, let’s be opportunistic entrepreneurs and look at the big picture so that if we do our job well and tourists come in and out, we would make money and create jobs. “
The Sector Minister assured that the government would continue to improve the infrastructure of tourist attractions and make it work, but he needed the collaborative efforts of stakeholders to enforce tourism and make it a cost-effective mechanism.
Mr. Akwesi Agyemang, Managing Director of Ghana Tourism Authority, said a few years ago that they had embarked on a feasibility study of the industry, to find out how ready or how digitized their businesses were, and the results revealed that there was no level of use of digitized platforms across the length and breadth of practitioners.
“Almost 50 percent of operators did not have any online offer at their establishments, so all transactions were done manually, but 80 percent of transactions were done using mobile phones and less than 30 percent operators were connected to one of the global system that was available for tourism.
Mr. Agyemang, said that currently the demand and supply of tourism infrastructure plays an important role on several platforms, yet most operators are lacking on these platforms.
“The comments from the visibility study indicated that around 80% of the responses wanted Ghana to have its own platform or its own means of engaging in transactions for its operators and this was the start of the process. to have this national one-stop-shop for tourism. project.”
He said the platform has been robust and user-friendly enough and has a lot of benefits for the industry. “It is possible for each operator to be present with their own slides, to load their own services, images, prices, so that, globally, everyone can have access to what you offer. Anyone can belong to this market. “
The project is divided into three modules, first to focus on improving the process of collecting tourism taxes to raise the necessary funds for destination marketing, capacity building and infrastructure projects, to automate the GTA process and provide a transparent interface with relevant stakeholders, and to promote Ghana as an attractive tourist destination.
Ms. Bella Ahu, President of Ghana Tourism Federation, urged industry players to take advantage of this platform to globalize, upgrade their products and services to become competitive, so that when visitors come, they would go and come back in the future.