In a rapidly evolving world, the pursuit of knowledge has taken on various forms, with the age-old debate between academic learning and practical experience gaining renewed attention. As students and professionals navigate the complexities of career development, the delicate balance between these two facets has become a critical factor in achieving success and expertise.
The traditional view of education has often emphasised the importance of academic learning, where individuals immerse themselves in classrooms, absorbing theories, concepts, and historical perspectives. However, as industries continue to advance, the role of practical experience has grown to equal prominence.
Educational institutions are also acknowledging the need for balance. Universities have incorporated experiential learning opportunities, such as internships, co-op programs, and project-based coursework, into their curricula.
These initiatives bridge the gap between theory and practice, preparing students to transition seamlessly into the future of work.
A presentation on tourism marketing and environmental and sustainability marketing was recently organized by both the Tourism Marketing, and Environmental and Sustainability Marketing Class Groups of UniMAC-GIJ to engage professionals in both fields. The two classes presented their fieldwork research presentations on ways to promote Ghana’s tourism and preserve the environment for the future.
Each group's presentation, which highlighted their experiences at the Bunso Eco-Park, Amedzofe Tourism Center, and Organizational Sustainability, was fascinating. Students presented their ideas to promote tourism in Ghana and also a Sustainable manner to avoid causing harm to the environment.
The necessity of boosting eco-tourism was one of the main lessons to be learned from the occasion. Ecotourism is a subset of tourism that emphasizes both visiting and protecting natural areas. The students emphasized the advantages of eco-tourism, such as its capacity to support local people financially while simultaneously conserving their customs and culture.
The event's discussion of the use of social media to promote tourism was another interesting topic. The necessity of using social media sites like Instagram and Facebook to display the beauty of travel places was emphasized by the students. In order to market their locations, they recommended that travel agencies work together with social media influencers and creatives.
The occasion provided students with a wonderful opportunity to educate themselves on the value of sustainability, the advantages of tourism for the environment and economy, and other relevant topics. It also emphasized the necessity of cross-sector cooperation for sustainable development.
Akwasi Agyeman – CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority delivered a speech on Tourism Marketing
Delivering a speech at the event, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority who was the Special Guest, emphasized a few crucial aspects in his address that would aid in boosting tourism in Ghana.
He advocated the opening of eateries in popular tourist destinations to offer guests a distinctive taste of Ghanaian food. He also stressed how crucial it is to speak with utility regulation authorities on energy sustainability for hotels in Ghana in order to ensure that the travel and tourism sector is environmentally friendly.
Mr. Agyeman indicated the significant contribution that tourism makes to the growth of the nation. He stated that tourism fosters cultural interchange, generates income, and provides jobs. Investment in the tourism industry is essential to promote Ghana's economic development.
The CEO also discussed tourism-related policies. He said that in order to ensure that tourism attractions are well-maintained and offer visitors a safe and happy experience, the Ghana Tourism Authority is collaborating with stakeholders to draft policies.
He expressed interest in the students' campaign to promote tourism in Ghana and praised their enthusiasm and urged them to keep promoting Ghana's tourism using numerous platforms, including social media and word-of-mouth. He called for more collaborations between academia and industry players and suggested that the experiential academic presentations by UniMAC-GIJ should be an annual event in order to further promote tourism in Ghana.
Why Sustainability Marketing Is Important To Organizations
Environmental and sustainability marketing, also known as green marketing also featured heavily during the event. Presentations focused on how organizations in Ghana can promote their products, services, or practices in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible way.
The presentations also touched on how consumers can prioritise sustainability and care about the impact their choices have on the planet. Key components of environmental and sustainability marketing include Green Product Development, Transparent Communication, Educational Campaigns, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
It is important for organizations to start adopting environmental and sustainability marketing. The goal of sustainability marketing is not only to drive sales but also to contribute to a more sustainable future by encouraging responsible consumer behaviour and fostering a positive brand image.
- Meeting Consumer Demand: Consumer preferences have shifted towards environmentally conscious products and services. By incorporating environmental and sustainability aspects into their marketing strategies, organizations can attract and retain these conscious consumers.
- Enhancing Brand Image: Adopting environmentally responsible practices and promoting sustainability initiatives can significantly enhance a company's brand image. Organizations that demonstrate a commitment to protecting the environment and contributing to sustainable practices are often viewed as ethical and socially responsible, leading to positive perceptions and increased brand loyalty.
- Gaining Competitive Advantage: Incorporating environmental and sustainability principles into marketing can provide a competitive edge in the market. Organizations that lead in sustainable practices and effectively communicate these efforts to their target audience can differentiate themselves from competitors and capture a larger share of the market.
- Cost Savings and Efficiency: Sustainable practices often lead to cost savings in the long run. Energy efficiency, waste reduction, and resource conservation not only contribute to environmental well-being but also result in reduced operational costs. Marketing these practices can highlight the organization's commitment to efficiency and responsible resource management.
There was a judging panel that reviewed and assessed all presentations by the students. The panel of judges was made up of Devine Owusu Ansah, Deputy Director for Art and Culture at the Ministry of Tourism Art & Culture; Mr. Atta Kokra Kusi, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs at Ghana Tourism Authority; and Dr. George Asamoah, Snr. Lecturer, HOD, Department of Marketing at GIJ.
The presentation event was well coordinated by the two lead course lecturers - Bright Senanu, Lecturer for Tourism Marketing, and Nii Nokweii Tackie, Lecturer for Environmental and Sustainability Marketing.
Both tourism marketing and environmental and sustainability marketing can intersect, especially when promoting eco-friendly and responsible travel practices. Destinations that emphasize their commitment to environmental conservation and sustainability can attract travellers who share these values. This can lead to positive economic impacts while also promoting responsible tourism practices that minimize negative environmental effects.
The Tourism Marketing and Environmental and Sustainability Marketing presentations, which featured students displaying a great understanding of how to promote Ghanaian tourism and preserve our surroundings for the benefit of future generations, were a huge success. The occasion served as a reminder that we all have a part to play in promoting sustainability, preserving the environment for future generations, and promoting Ghana as a travel destination.
Victor Selasi Amezugbe and Eleanor Mensah are with UniMAC-Institute of Journalism
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