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Business News of Monday, 24 February 2020


GTA boss achieving results but tourism sector lacks innovation – Kobby Mensah

Dr Kobby Mensah Dr Kobby Mensah

A senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Dr Kobby Mensah, has extolled the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Akwasi Agyemang for delivering on the task given him.

Dr Mensah noted on the Travel Pass Show on 3FM hosted by Francis Doku on Sunday that the tourism sector has been given a new look following the hard work of the Ministry of Tourism and the GTA Boss.

He, however, noted that the sector lacks innovation.

He has therefore, called on industry players to be more innovative in their operations.

Dr Mensah was speaking in relation to the State of the Nation address delivered by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, last Thursday in Parliament.

The president said, among other things in the address that, Ghana was seeking to leverage on the successes of the ‘Year of the Return’ event last year to advance the curse of the ‘Beyond the Return’.

The ‘Year of the Return’ agenda, which brought into the country Africans in Diaspora, gave birth to the ‘Beyond the Return’.

He said : “Ghana became the centre of attention in the African diaspora and, indeed, much of the world as we led the way with events of remembrance to commemorate 400 years since the first captured Africans arrived in the Americas in what became the beginning of the ignominious Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The event, being commemorated, left deep scars and remains the source of unimaginable grief for all peoples of African descent; but it provided a great opportunity for us to demonstrate our triumph over adversity. Throughout the year, and culminating in a glorious cacophony of celebrations, Ghana was the centre of attention in much of the world. We played host to people from all over the world, young and old, men and women, black and white, joined in spectacular celebration, a joyous re-discovery of our common identity and humanity, exploring what we can do together, through political, cultural and economic engagement, to make our future brighter and better, one our future descendants will be proud of.”

He added : “it is a matter of great pride to me that all Ghanaians embraced the Year of Return, and helped to project such a positive and endearing image of our country. My heartfelt thanks to all Ghanaians and to Members of the House, in particular, for the enthusiastic welcome that was extended to our visitors, and for making the Year of Return such a resounding success. But we are not yet done. We are building on the foundations of the Year of Return to a new level, the next stage of our re-engagement with the African Diaspora, with the theme, “Beyond the Return”.

“The government is seeking to build on the success, and we are putting measures in place to take us ‘Beyond the Return’. The Ministry of Tourism, under its eloquent leader, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Member of Parliament for Prestea Huni-Valley, and the rejuvenated Ghana Tourism Authority, under its dynamic Chief Executive, Akwasi Agyemang, are leading the charge to make our country an attractive and irresistible destination, a place of pilgrimage, a nation that everyone with a hint of African blood must visit at least once in their lifetime.

“I should thank two people, in particular, who have embraced their Ghanaian heritage and have played a key role in our effort to building lasting bridges between Ghana and African-Americans: Hollywood star, Boris Kodjoe and international marketing icon, Bozoma Saint John. We are grateful to both of them for leveraging their star-power to attract thousands to the land of their fathers, and to drive a fresh narrative that says Ghana is a land of opportunity; visit, invest, make it your home. We appreciate deeply their contribution and that of many others to the success of the entire project.”

Assessing the comment of president, Dr Kobby Mensah said that : “ the tourism space has actually seen a facelift and I must actually commend the Tourism Ministry especially the GTA.

“Akwasi Agyemang, the CEO of the GTA has really done well.”

He added: “Obviously we expect more. It means there are certain sector of the industry that need a lot of work in order that we can actually wish their arrivals to another level.

Another area that we probably are not doing well is in innovation. We haven’t been innovative with respect to the field.

“I think we have been relying on the traditional approaches. Of course you will see one or two encouragement here and there but I think we can do a lot more with tourism innovations.