Tour operators in Ghana have been charged to embrace digitalization of the industry to advance the sector in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
A retired lecturer of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, Dr James Akamboe Ayirebasia, who admonished the operators, said the world was gradually responding to transformations to digitalizing, hence, the need for tourism operating firms to adopt the new marketing approach to sell their products using digital platforms.
He said this in Bolgatanga, during this year’s (2018) United Nations World Tourism Day (UNWTD) celebration organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on the theme: “Tourism and the digital transformation’.
“Digital tourism marketing is useful and up to $7.6 trillion are generated from tourism and the world is gravitating towards digitization”, he stated.
A lecturer from the Millar Open University, Madam Eva Agana Mmah, reiterated the need to embrace digital tools in transforming the tourism sector.
According to her, the tourism sector had lots of potentials and could be better harnessed if owners of tourist sites embraced digital tools.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum who was a participant at the function, expressed contrary view to digitalizing the tourism sector and expressed fears that there would be job losses if the tourism sector embraced entirely digital models.
“Using the digital system could be beneficial but we don’t have to discard our traditional methods. If we have to discard them, then, we are rendering some people jobless. Our tourist guards will not also forgive us”, he expressed.
The Upper East Regional Director of the GTA, Mr Henry Yeledour, said the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture had identified three tourist sites in the Upper East Region for upgrading.
The sites include the Paga Zenga Crocodile Pond, the Pikworo Slave Camp and the Tengzuk Shrine. These sites he said formed part of the Ministry’s initiative to upgrade 33 tourism sites across the country.