Posted on June 5, 2010


Business-I think I’m going to post some stuff about doing business. I am prompted by the article below that appeared in yesterday’s Montreal Gazette.

So what do you think? A different world from here, isn’t it?

What isn’t different is often it is the high-end establishments that let people down the hardest. It is a pity that foreign companies/missions in Ghana don’t do their homework. They book with these international hotel chains thinking their employees will be well taken care of. Needless to say, the small, quality, locally owned hotels, which have no international reputations to fall back on, don’t get the business. Needless to say, Ghana is fast acquiring a high-cost destination reputation.

Here’s a story that I heard over the breakfast table just yesterday morning. Our guest, a single lady travelling from Qatar on Egypt Air, arrived at Kotoka International Airport on the regularly scheduled flight from Cairo at 12 midnight.

A French chain hotel in Accra managed by foreign nationals here, failed to pick her up at the airport. “They said they forgot!”, she exclaimed.

She said she had made her way to the hotel herself with no local currency in the wee hours of the morning. Arriving at the hotel, she had to go to reception and “in a schoolmaster voice” demand they pay the taxi driver. Scary, isn’t it.

Will she sue?. No. But what suffers is the Ghanaian tourist industry. All these situations-and we hear a lot of horror stories over the breakfast table-add up and can spell the premature demise of Ghana’s potentially lucrative tourist industry.

Incidentally, the lady did do her homework and booked directly with Four Villages, If she hadn’t, the locally staffed British Council here would have booked her at the one large, impersonal generic 4 star hotel here in Kumasi at double the price. In the old days, when the British Council in Kumasi was managed by a Brit., Four Villages would get British Council staff and contract workers here regularly…

Here’s what the lady wrote in our guest book when checking out today:

“After two weeks of International Hotels on business, I booked this lovely Guest House and I have found out more about Ghana and life here in two days than all the rest put together. Lovely Ghanaian food and sensitive tourist ops-Comfort especially in the market-and local skills. Many thanks Charity and Chris. Hope to come again soon.”

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