In the first two weeks of me becoming a temporary lady of leisure all I did was sleep, watch re-runs and pretty much did nothing. Then I got bored so I started to go out for walks (I am working my way up to jogging). I also go for a training session once a week and I also go to counselling once a week (I need to get my mind right was well as my body right?). I also catch an event where I can, the last one being the Ghana Tourism summit.
It was marketed as a breakfast summit but I wasn’t really expecting much, but they actually exceeded my expectations. There was Sausage or bacon and egg muffins, hot beverages, fruits, yogurt, I think there was even bofort (donuts) available and the best part of it is that it was a free event. I am so glad I didn’t go to the Starbucks beforehand.
Of course as usual it started later than it was suppose to. The High Commissioner who opened the event even through shade that when it is a white person’s event we will get there before the time but for our own we are always late. Well, what can I say, we know the problem, will we ever fix this?
The event started with a presentation from the CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority showing a huge tourism park they plan to build in Accra with all the bells and whistles. There was a presentation from Bollie of X Factor/Reggie and Bollie fame (Reggie was late), speaking on their roles as tourism ambassadors, the very talented artiste Wiyaala who promoted the North in particular the Upper West Region and a gentleman from a company called Explore!. The guy from Explore!, gave a case study on his experience of selling holidays to Ghana. Some people say he was too negative, I believe he was keeping it real. First of all he highlighted that it is not the type of place that a person would think of at the top of their head to go to and even when they do, and while Ghanaians are very friendly, there are issues such as poor customer service. I felt a bit bad because, well you all know what I think about Ghanaian customer service or lack thereof, it is something that needs to be addressed. Yes it is an opportunity for a company to work with the service industry to improve this area (as was discussed) but let’s face it, there needs to be a total change of mindset from top to bottom before we can even sort out that challenge.
The morning ended with a question and answer session with a panel of people from the Tourism Industry, Head of Trade and Industry and the CEO of GUBA (Ghana UK Based Achievements). I use the term “question and answer” session very loosely though because most of the questions were a 10 minute monologue so by the time they got the question asked, I had zoned out.
I won’t go too much into the event, but it was a well thought out, well managed event.
What I got from it was that we need to market Ghana. We need to see Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Breathe Ghana. If we are going to promote Ghana it should start with ourselves.
I think a lot of people including myself still wanted to know what kind of contribution we could make to this industry or what investments could be made. There was a representative from a gentleman from Invest In Ghana but if you like me, it is all well and good but someone to give a starting point would be great. They took down our email addresses so I hope that someone will be reaching out to us in due course to ask for our thoughts. I do however hope that this is something that continues because I saw quite a few people who were interested in Ghana and how they could add value to this industry.
What do I really think is the problem with the Industry though? I’ll continue this discussion in Part 2.