Ghana Hotels Association: 2010 Annual General Assembly

Posted on June 24, 2010

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This past weekend, the Ghana Hotels Association held its Annual General Assembly here in Kumasi at the Golden Tulip-Kumasi City. It was a grand occasion with ten delegates coming from each of the ten regions. The main items on the agenda were the election of a new executive and the launching of a charter and the association website.

Yours truly, a.k.a. Four Villages in these circles, has been a very active member for more than ten years. I have always believed that the tourism/hotel industry can only grow when there is collaboration between the public and private sectors, between the various associations involved in the hospitality industry and between hotels themselves. So I’ve stuck it out….I haven’t thrown in the towel….working towards the success of the industry takes precidence over retreating just to look after Four Villages

Below the highlights:

1. I was surprised at how many people came up to me commenting on my internet posts on the association. Seems I ruffled a few feathers. GOOD! We are all entitled to our opinions. It is only sad that more don’t voice their opinions!

2. Elections: Few of the positions were contested and those that were it just seemed like a game of musical chairs. Considering that there are over one thousand member hotels around the country, it is surprising that it was the same ole faces there.

A few years ago, I was one of those faces. For two years I represented Ashanti regional secretary attending National Executive Council Meetings around the country. I bowed out after one term making way for a Ghanaian.

After 8 years in the position Nana Kofi Adjei Twinim I, President of the Ghana Hotels Association, was stepping down to take up the position of President of GHATOF-a government initiated umbrella federation of tourism operators.

3. Invited Guests: Now this was a big occasion that was organized at great expense. It would have been the perfect opportunity for the new MINISTER OF TOURISM to meet the players in this powerful association. But alas, apologies…always apologies from the big wigs who invariably send their subordinates Also apologies were received from the acting Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board ……

4. Address by the Deputy Minister of Tourism Hon. Kofi Achaempong. He mentioned a visit to China by a Ghanaian delegation drumming up business for GHANA! Great! He stated that Ghana has been placed on a list of countries as a preferred destination. But then he started describing a worst case scenario of what would happen if 100,000 “neehaw” of the 1.5 billion Chinese decided to visit Ghana. What would we do? He encouraged Ghanaians to partner together to build ‘200 room hotels’ and to get away from the five six-room places. He said that if this didn’t happen foreigners would “gobble ” up the industry.
(Comments from the two hoteliers on either side of me,” Ha, Ten rooms is enough of a headache” and “Look at you Four Villages-four rooms!”

5. This was the first annual congress since 2006 and audit reports from 2005 had to be approved and accepted…..problem was the auditor was sick and in hospital –“on his death-bed” was said-and no copies of the reports had been made available to the officers and the delegates….

6. A website for the association was officially launched:

www.ghanahotelsassociation.com

7. A Service Charter was also launched in which mission and vision statements were espoused . Most important is the section that invites the public to address their complaints and comments to the association at ghanahotelsassociation@yahoo.com

8. Address by Mrs Stella Appenteng, past president of TOUGHA (tour operators association) and IPP (immediate past president of GHATOF (government umbrella organization of tourism operators): Her focus was on the maintenance of excellence in service delivery to meet international standards. She recounted an experience she had recently when checking into an establishment….the receptionist treating her as if she were a nuisance…

COMMENT: I hope that Stella writes to the association to lodge a complaint, or maybe to the Ghana Tourist Board or failing that to Trip Advisor or to the Bradt Update…somewhere….

9. Mr. Herbert Quaye, incoming President of the Ghana Hotels Association: I met Herbert years ago when he was a co-opted member of the National Executive Council acting as a special advisor to the President. Here is a class act-highly educated in tourism management and highly experienced in the field. I have a feeling that this guy will have the guts to face issues head on.

And what a spread we all enjoyed at the end of the affair…

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