The President of the Institute of Hospitality (IH) at the Kumasi Technical University (KsTU) has called on the government to invest more in the hospitality and tourism sector.
According to Matilda Asamoah-Appiah, the sector has played a role in boosting the nation’s economy.
The Institute of Hospitality (IH) at the KsTU is holding its 11th annual delegates conference on the theme, “The nexus between hospitality and national development in the 21st century”.
Speaking at the event, Mrs. Matilda Asamoah-Appiah noted that investing in the sector will increase tourism flow and employment opportunities.
She revealed that the association is making efforts in bridging the gap between academia and industry.
“The government must help the technical and vocational institutions especially the hospitality and tourism department because the hospitality and tourism industry are an engine of economic development and GDP growth.
In many countries, the tourism industry remains an important source for the generation of employment and income in formal and informal sectors.
The Association is making all efforts in finding other ways of bridging the gap between academia and industry at large, so that our youth will meet the demands of the industry and make them more profitable for the growth of the nation,” she said.
Guest speaker, Dr. Joseph Mensah-Ansah, appealed to employers in the hospitality and tourism industry to train their employees to add value to services.
“Whilst industry can give a plethora of reasons for not training or allowing their staff to be trained, it is time they consider innovative ways to encourage learning and improve the training experience.
Approaches such as on-the-job training, peer-to-peer coaching delivered with the aid of technology can be adopted to break the syndrome of there being no time to train.
As for the excuse of when we train, they will be poached, it’s only a myth and we deceive ourselves as employers by not training our staff and yet complain of their low service quality.
If you don’t train them, who do you expect to train them? I believe that if we train them and remunerate them fairly, they will be loyal to us,” he advised.
The Head of Food Technology Department at KsTU, Prof. Felix Narku Engmann, advised players in the hospitality and tourism sector to introduce tourists to local dishes when they visit the country.
He believes food has a role in promoting tourism in the country.
“We think tourists may not enjoy our local dishes but if you travel outside the country, it is what they have that you’re served with but it’s the reverse in our case.
We want to please them and give them what they’re used to, but we need to introduce our local dishes to them and I believe they will enjoy it,” he said.
A senior lecturer at the Department of Hotel, Catering and Institutional Management, KsTU wants the government to provide more teaching equipment to the department.
According to Dr. Patricia Owusu Darko, this will help in training students in the hospitality sector.
“We have very few working equipment, and due to that when the students go into the industry, they don’t know some the equipment they’re working with
I would like to plead with policy makers and the government to resource and equip the labs that will train students,” she appealed.
The Institute of Hospitality (IH) launched its 50th anniversary during the delegates conference.
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