Regional News of Sunday, 17 June 2012
Alhaji Baba Jamal, Deputy Minister of Tourism, has urged people in the hospitality industry to improve upon their human relation skills in order to attract and win the loyalty of their clients.
"Some of us lack basic skills in how to treat customers. We need to improve upon our reception, not only with people from abroad, but Ghanaians as well."
Alhaji Baba Jamal said this at the 27th Graduation ceremony of the EKGS Culinary Institute in Accra.
The Graduation was under the theme, "Youth Unemployment and Its Effects on the Society-What the Culinary Industry Can Do."
"Those of us in the hospitality industry need to know that we are at the fore-front of the country, when it comes to the first and basic impressions that visitors to the country form. It is very important that we give a good impression of the country," he said.
The Deputy Minister said it was surprising to note that although only about ten percent of the country's tourism facilities were being utilized, tourism was the fourth highest income generator in the country.
"One could easily imagine what would happen, if we maximized our tourism potential," said Alhaji Baba Jamal.
He urged those in the hospitality industry to concentrate more on offering quality service, instead of thinking too much on "tips" from clients.
"Begging is not part of success. To succeed, you need to do whatever you do whole-heartedly," he said.
The Deputy Minister encouraged the graduates to put their skills to good use, and strive to add their quota to the development of the nation.
He also urged politicians and the general public, to be circumspect in their actions and utterances, and help ensure a peaceful election.
"As you all know, this is an election year. Let us all strive to ensure that we keep enjoying the peace we now have," he said.
Ms. Efua Otua Goode, Director of the Institute, said whilst the culinary sector greatly contributed to curbing unemployment through training several unskilled young people, the sector faced a number of constraints.
"We appeal to the government to waive the huge taxes we pay on imports, which are indispensable to the industry," she said.
The Director also appealed to the government to serve as an intermediary between the culinary sector and banks, adding that, this would make it a lot easier for those in the sector to successfully apply for loans, which were also most needed.
In all 140 students, including four males graduated.
A number of the graduates received awards in various disciplines, with Ms. Hannah Manison, receiving the award of over-all best student.**