The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has organized a training programme for some taxi, Uber, Bolt and other transport service providers in Kumasi on April 27, 2023, to equip them with the skills needed to boost the tourism sector.
The programme, which took place at the KNUST Commercial Area, was championed by the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC), an agency under the wings of the ministry.
Giving a brief speech at the event, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku-Mantey emphasised the need to upgrade drivers towards the tourism drive because “they are the first point of contact when tourists arrive in the country.”
He explained the need to make drivers direct ambassadors to propagate the tourism gospel to tourists who mark it on their calendars to holiday and enjoy local sightseeing in Ghana.
“President Akufo-Addo is enthused about tourism because of the value it possesses and how big a deal it is. Consequently, he is poised to see the sector progress and these are some of the measures for a smooth execution,” Mr Okraku-Mantey explained.
He continued, “Apart from checking their passports and going through immigration checkpoints, the next person a tourist at the airport will likely meet is a driver. They are the next point of tourist ambassadors.
“Their outfit and say is so important because they can direct touristsand provide them with a rich history about Ghana,” Mark Okraku-Mantey added.
Meanwhile, Lauretta Kuadey, GTDC Projects Manager confirmedthe first phase of the programme was imperative to train the driverson how to interact with tourists considering that visitors engage their services to their respective destinations.
She however added that a total of 3,000 drivers have been trained for the first phase and “we hope to make it bigger in the future”.
“We decided to train drivers within the tourism sector as we have identified their role in promoting tourism,” she said. “They are the front liners who meet tourists when they arrive in the country and so this programme will help propagate the good news of the tourism sector, prospects and everything. If tourists arrive, they can tell them potential places to visit.” She said.
Ms Kuadey disclosed that a total of three thousand (3000) drivers have been trained for the first phase and “we hope to make it bigger in the future”.
“They are to inform them of the potential we have that they should visit… We are also rewarding them for their time and they are going to be given a certificate of participation, key rings and stickers for their cars and T-shirts as well for making themselves available for the exercise.
She explained the second phase “will roll out new items to have them much more equipped to be ambassadors of tourism.”
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