Oophs…disco internet-this post went out unfinished-teaches me to preview changes.
Ian Utley,author of Ghana: Culture Smart, posted the article below on facebook entitled “GHANA TOURISM; TO BECOME NO. 1 FOREIGN EXCHANGE EARNER-MINISTER” with the comment “Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) and the Ghana Tourist Federation (GHATOF): all completely staffed by Ghanaians with no idea what tourists want.”
Well, I wanted to read a little about Zita Okaikoi, the new Minister of Tourism. I googled her and low and behold she has a facebook page. So now I’m a fan and I sent her a message congratulating her on her appointment and on being on facebook! I finished with “This is democracy!” I also sent her the link to Four Villages Inn. Well, it is democracy is I get a reply. Democracy is communication and collaboration with proverbial “stakeholders” -that’s what I am and that’s what Ian Utley is too.
So I wrote back on Ian’s page to join Minister Okaikoi on FACEBOOK and express his opinion to her direct.
Anywats getting back to the article, it states:
She said that apart from the better hospitality services in the country ‘ s capital, many international tourists who visit other regions do not stay very long because of poor services that are rendered to them. She mentioned that minimal attention was being given to the hospitality industry and therefore urged the Ghana Tourist Board to ensure that the players in the industry improve upon their services.
Let me tell the minister not to let appearances deceive her. The number of horror stories we at Four Villages hear from tourists about service and facilities in so called upmarket hotels in Accra is discouraging.
Just recently, a frequent guest here said, “Let me tell you a story.”
“Oh no, I don’t want to hear it.” I grunted.
“Oh, yes you do!”
Well, this one really was a shocker. Our guest, a resident of Ghana, was being visited by her mother, but she was unable to meet her off the international flight in Accra .
So, sometime before when our guest was in Accra, she went to a newer four star hotel on the scene and booked a room with an upgrade-a club room I think she said-at GH C300.00 per night. Mummy was arriving on a flight from Europe and guest arranged with the hotel for an airport pick-up. The room was prepaid.
Well, nobody was there to pick mummy up and it was only after two hours that somebody went to get mummy. But you want the kicker….the room had been rented and there was no room for mummy. At 2:00 a.m., mummy was taken to another hotel which was unacceptable to the mummy who requested to go back to the booked hotel where she waited in the lobby-much to the staffs’ embarrassment until a room opened up.
Daughter got lots of apologies and excuses the next day and as compensation a-one-free night when mummy was due to fly out!
My reaction to our guest ….”write this up for the Bradt update.” It hasn’t appeared to date, so I’ll tell the story and if it does appear on the update I’ll post it.
Now-do you think that Minister Okaikoi would hear about this? I’d venture that not even the Ghana Tourist Board would….
And as for places outside Accra-there are lots of fine establishments with lots of character and local flavour on the coast and inland. The reason that people do not spend a lot of time outside Accra is there are NOT a lot of people coming to this country because Ghana is not marketed well.
We at Four Villages ask every guest who comes to stay with us why they chose Ghana. It’s either they know somebody here or they are students, volunteers or aid workers. Few times do people reply-“we are just tourists” And when they do I usually write a post on this blog I am so surprised and delighted!