News & Events
Ghana Hoteliers Association supports tourism levy
29 April 2014

ACCRA, Ghana - The National President of the Ghana Hoteliers Association (GHA), Herbert Acquaye, has said that his outfit will continue to work to ensure that the 1 per cent tourism levy is well-managed to yield dividends for the proposed objectives.

He explained that the Hoteliers Association had embarked on a new transparency initiative using a software capable of monitoring all the payments that go into the fund. The system will also allow hotels to use their own passwords to make direct inputs into the fund.

“As collaborators who are doing the collection and as a civil society organisation, we must ensure that there is a clear sense of governance in how this fund is managed," he said.

On hoteliers’ role with respect to foreign exchange, Acquaye assured the nation that members of the GHA were not only charging tariffs in cedis but were also ensuring that others complied.

The national president was speaking in Accra at the induction ceremony of newly- elected executives of the Greater Accra Regional Branch of the Ghana Hoteliers Association.

The newly- elected chairman of the Greater Accra Regional Branch, Dr Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, outlined a one-year programme, which focuses on social and business networking investments, as well as improved hospitality standards. He proposed a membership drive to strengthen the base of the association.

‘’We must work to harness all resources of the association to undertake well thought-out activities to achieve the industry’s objectives.’’

Dr Ackah-Nyamike Jnr called for effective partnership with statutory stakeholders such as the Ghana Tourists Association, Police, Ghana Revenue Authority, National Fire Service, Environmental Protection Agency and District Assemblies.

The new chairman is a former lecturer at the University of Ghana and Director of Venaco Hotel in Accra. He took over from Mr Kwame Appiah Danquah of KAD Hotel.

In his handing over speech, Danquah said though they enjoyed good relations with Districts Assemblies, hotel standards and services across the regions were low.

He said the GHA was currently running a pilot project in hotels in four districts. This initiative will address the issue of making hotel business outside the cities more comfortable and viable.

Other members of the Accra branch of the Hoteliers Association who were sworn in are: Peter Wireko (Korkdam Hotel), Vice Chairman; Mrs Paulina Opoku Acheampong, (Gye Nyame Hotel) Secretary; Joseph Odame Danquah (Standard Hotel) Treasurer and Jonathan Anyetei, (Grace Jones Hotel) Assistant Treasurer. The new executives will be in office for a two-year tenure.

Travel and tourism threat: Killer virus Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is spreading
29 April 2014

Egypt's announcement on Saturday caused worries about a wider spread of a deadly virus. This becomes a threat to the global travel and tourism industry. Egypt announced that it had confirmed its first case of MERS in a man who had recently returned to the country from Riyadh where he was working.

Saudi Arabia has confirmed 10 more cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which kills around a third of sufferers, and said two more people have died from the disease.

Saudi Arabia, where MERS was discovered around two years ago and which remains the country most affected, has now had 323 confirmed cases of MERS, of which 94 have been fatal.

The 127 cases announced since the start of April represent a 65 percent jump in total infections in Saudi Arabia this month.

The new cases included seven in Jeddah, the focal point for the recent outbreak, two in the capital Riyadh and another in Mecca, the Health Ministry said in a statement on its website.

The acting health minister, Adel Fakieh, said on Saturday he had designated three hospitals in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam on the Gulf coast as specialist centres for MERS treatment.

The three hospitals can accommodate 146 patients in intensive care, he said in comments carried by local press on Sunday.

Many Saudis have voiced concerns on social media about government handling of the outbreak, and last week King Abdullah sacked the health minister.

In Jeddah, some people are wearing facemasks and avoiding public gatherings, while pharmacies say sales of hand sanitisers and other hygiene products are soaring.

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is viral respiratory illness first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. It is caused by a coronavirus called MERS-CoV. Most people who have been confirmed to have MERS-CoV infection developed severe acute respiratory illness. They had fever, cough, and shortness of breath. About half of these people died.
So far, all the cases have been linked to six countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula. No cases have been identified in the U.S. This virus has spread from ill people to others through close contact. However, the virus has not shown to spread in a sustained way in communities. The situation is still evolving.

The Center of Disease Control is working with partners to better understand the risks of this virus, including the source, how it spreads, and how infections might be prevented. CDC has provided information for travelers and is working with health departments, hospitals, and other partners to prepare for possible cases in the United States.


Travel Bureau Staff Away Trip
13 March 2014

Excursions are a must, especially for both employers and employees. They have a great educational value. That is why organizations often organize excursions for their Management and staff. Apart from educating Management and staff; its exposes them to various experiences, it is a great means of recreation. It is the day all students wait for eagerly.

Management and staff of Travel Bureau Limited were taken on an excursion to Atimpoku in Ghana’s Eastern Region on March 6, 2014.  Management and staff of Travel Bureau Limited defied the morning downpour to depart Accra for Atimpoku at 7am prompt. They sang as the bus journeyed through various scenic villages with fine examples of traditional Ghanaian housing.

Soon Management and staff of Travel Bureau Limited finally reached Afrikiko River Front Resort at Atimpoku and embarked on a two exciting hours of boat ride on the Volta River, Ghana’s longest river. After the boat ride, Management and staff used the various facilities at Afrikiko River Front Resort. Some staff members swam in the resort’s swimming pool whiles other played volleyball. The rest sat at banks of the Volta River and played some games. All this time they had the beautiful Volta River in view. Some could not resist walking along the banks of the Volta River. It took some staff members long to thoroughly absorb the beauty of this masterpiece, enjoy some drinks and marvel nature. At noon, the team enjoyed lunch at the resort.

After lunch, they left Afrikiko River Front Resort for Accra; it was a great experience to enjoy boat ride on the Ghana’s longest river, Volta River, and to interact to share ideas and experiences. 

Africa’s tourism through the lens of the World Bank
24 January 2014
A new World Bank report, “Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Improved Growth and Livelihoods,” says that African countries can compete with other tourist-rich regions of the world if they can effectively plan for and integrate tourism into their economies.

Countries around the world have benefited from tourism, as international global arrivals have grown.

For example, from 1980 to 2000 arrivals in the Asia Pacific grew from eight per cent to 22 per cent, contributing to economic growth and improved livelihoods.

During the same period, Africa’s market share for global tourism grew from three per cent (1980) to five per cent (2010).

To close this gap, the report calls on African governments and the private sector to work together to address obstacles such as land access and visa regulation to expand tourism opportunities, transform business climates and energise job creation, especially for women and youth.

“Africa’s mountains, savannahs and rivers, and cultural events such as music, dance and festivals are far above the natural assets found in other regions,” says Iain Christie, one of the report’s co-authors. “With these natural attributes, tourism can play an enormous role in development. But to do so it must be integrated into each country’s economy and government structure and be seen as a benefit by everyone, from the president, to the ministers to the general population.”

“Tourism in Africa” is the first World Bank report to comprehensively examine tourism throughout SSA and to recommend practical, evidence-based measures to unleash the sector’s economic and development power across the continent.

It shows how Botswana, Cape Verde, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania, among other countries, have high potential for tourism expansion over the next five years, and argues that many SSA countries are on the verge of tourism success.

A powerful development path

Tourism is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the world economy, and tourism in Africa is ripe for development, the report notes.

For example, the number of tourists arriving in SSA has grown over 300 per cent since 1990, with 2012 marking a high of 33.8 million tourists who visited the region.

Income generated from tourism has also climbed; receipts from hotels, tours and other attractions in 2012 amounted to over US$36 billion and directly contributed just over 2.8 per cent to the region’s GDP, according to the report.

This boost in tourism is occurring just as economic growth is exploding across the African continent. Over the last five years, real GDP rose an average 4.9 per cent – faster than the three per cent global average.

As a result of the recent economic good health in SSA countries, global hotel chains are poised to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in Africa over the coming years to meet rising demand from both international tourists and the continent’s own fast-growing middle class, the report notes.

“Africa is an important emerging growth market and despite political uncertainty in parts of the region, we continue to see demand for growth of all of our brands throughout the continent,” says Hassan Ahdab, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Vice-President and Regional Director of Operations for Africa & Indian Ocean region. “Starwood will increase its African portfolio by nearly 30 per cent with 12 new hotels set to open over the next three years, adding nearly 3,000 guest rooms to the continent and creating thousands of local employment opportunities.”

Current constraints

At the same time, the expansion of tourism in SSA faces a number of obstacles. Issues such as land ownership and availability, and how land rights are transferred, are central to business and tourism development.

Other constraints such as access to finance for investors, taxes on tourism investments, low levels of tourism skills among Africa’s population, lack of security, safety and high crime, and bureaucratic processes are present in varying degrees in SSA countries. The report provides steps to overcome each of these obstacles.

Creating a path for growth

To understand better which SSA destinations are the highest performers and why, the report presents a typology of destinations, which ranks the 48 SSA countries by level of tourism development, ranging from pre-emergent (those countries recovering from or engaged in civil war) to consolidating (countries with relatively mature tourism sectors), and provides recommendations appropriate for countries at each stage of tourism development.

The report shows how countries that are scaling-up tourism need to invest in promotion and marketing, should take steps to enhance their image, and should provide incentives to investors, while those counties working to deepen their success need to diversify their tourism offerings, address seasonality, and manage growth strategically.

Learning from success

The report presents 24 tourism case studies from a wide range of destinations, dating from the mid-1970s to the mid-2000s, each chosen to illustrate a particular challenge or success and the effects of certain planning decisions.

The cases illustrate good practice and lessons learned from countries that have promoted tourism as a source of growth and poverty alleviation.

They include large projects based on broad-scale land development (such as Turkey’s South Antalya) or city-wide programmes (such as Cancún or Dubai), cases that focus on specific activities (nature conservancies in Namibia, mountaineering in Kenya), and smaller cases that are typically individual islands, resorts or activities (such as Nihiwatu, Indonesia, or Jungle Bay, Dominica).

The report describes SSA’s many tourism successes and urges governments to form alliances with the private sector—and the private sector to partner with government at local, regional and national levels.

Together they can plan and develop tourism infrastructure, increase transparency in land ownership and create a business-friendly environment for tour operators and other companies.

When sustainably managed, tourism fuels economic transformation, accelerates reform, triggers infrastructure improvements, and empowers women and minorities in countries throughout Africa.

Source: Graphic Business
Travel Bureau new Website launched on 22 December 2013
22 December 2013
Travel Bureau new Website launched on 22 December 2013