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Opinions of Saturday, 3 October 2015

Columnist: Adu, Martin

Tourism and hospitality: key to economic growth and elimination of unemployment

The Tourism and Hospitality Industry is vast and offers endless and exciting opportunities for those who aspire to a career within it. In fact the Tourism and Hospitality is regarded all over the world as the largest employer, largest income earner and as a matter of fact, the oldest and the greatest Industry in the world.
If we have to put our unemployment mountains behind us in Ghana, then we have no choice but to begin a fascinating journey that explores the diversity of the world’s greatest Industry (Tourism and Hospitality Industry). The Tourism and Hospitality profession is multi-faceted. Every other Industry is within this Industry. One may want to ask: what are the opportunities within it?
How do you match your personal interests with the alternative position and career opportunities offered by organizations within the Industry? In most European Countries where there are very few natural tourist attractions, Tourism and Hospitality Industry is the economic pillar in such Countries. What of Africa? What of Ghana?
Africa has more natural Tourist attractions than all the continents of the world but we remain notoriously unemployed and embarrassingly poor. The Tourism and Hospitality Industry has vast and endless opportunities for both rural and urban areas which when utilized will not only create jobs but completely eliminate unemployment in Ghana.
The world’s greatest Industry (Tourism and Hospitality) does not only give direct employment opportunities, it also gives indirect employment beyond measure. When the Industry is well developed, it will create jobs and immeasurable wealth to all other industries; for instance, industries like, food and agriculture, roads and transport, Energy, building and construction, health, water resources, culture and creative arts, fashion and design, security, sanitation, entertainment, etc,.
It is rather unfortunate that Ghanaians and Africans as a whole are not aware of the vast opportunities that the Tourism and Hospitality Industry has to offer. We prefer to look for hand outs rather than being more creative by putting our natural resources to meaningful use.
Ghana must take a critical look at the Tourism and Hospitality Industry by developing this very important industry and a much needed profession for the youth in order to address our unemployment challenges.
In an attempt to bring awareness of the industry to Ghanaians and the rest of Africa, NATHAFEST FOUNDATION, a nonprofit Organization in collaboration with tourism player like, Ghana Tourism Authority, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, Ghana Hotels Association and Ghana Tourism Federation organized the first National Tourism/Hospitality and Career Fair in October 2014 under the umbrella of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts.
The objective of the event was to encourage, the Ghanaian youth to take on careers in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry.
This year, the second edition of the National Tourism and Hospitality Exhibition, Conference and Career Fair (NATHAFEST 2015) a career fair and employment opportunity platform event is designed to create awareness and promote the growth of Tourism and Hospitality sector.
NATHAFEST 2015 is therefore designed to promote career choices for the youth in the sector and also bridge the gap between career choices, funding support for graduates and self employment businesses in the Tourism and the Hospitality sector.
This year’s edition slated for National Theatre from Wednesday 7th October to Friday 9th October 2015 is aimed at sharing knowledge, experience and seeking new market outlets with focus on the opportunities the industry offers for employment creation and sustainable jobs for the youth in Ghana and Africa at large.
Again the programe comes on under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and creative Arts, with collaboration among Ghana Tourism Authority, Ghana Hotels Association, School of Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management, Association of Ghana Industries-AGI and Ghana Hotels Association.
This year’s programme will comprise exhibitions, set up by hotels and Restaurants, food bazaar, cooking competition-featuring polytechnic schools and conferences on important topics with a targeted audience of over 5,000.
Supported by leading mobile Telecommunication Company, MTN, Golden Beach Hotels, Vaettel Natural Mineral Water, Brightee Roofing Company Limited, and Hetty’s World Decorations, the 2nd National Tourism and Hospitality Exhibition, Conference and Career Fair programme is set to bring critical mass of experts across the Hospitality Industry, Corporate bodies, students and the general public to focus on the role Tourism and Hospitality sector play in order to create jobs and eliminate unemployment among young school leavers in Ghana and to provide a sustainable platform for investors to target the industry for expansion.
It is important for us all to take practical and national approach to develop our dear nation (Ghana).