The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has begun a three-month French language training program for premium frontline hospitality personnel and industry players.
The project seeks to improve the ability of industry players to attract tourists from the sub-region and beyond, as well as provide hotels with multilingual staff who will be receptive to French speakers.
The initiative is part of the Ghana Cares “Obaatanpa” Program’s Tourism Sector Skills Revitalization Project.
Mr. Ben Anane Nsiah, GTA’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of General Services, stated that following the industry’s reaction to COVID-19, the GTA established a new push to promote domestic tourism, with a renewed emphasis on regional tourism.
He said that since the West African sub-region was largely Francophone, it was important to offer front-line employees skills to ensure that people from French-speaking countries felt comfortable when visiting Ghana.
Mr. Ben Nsiah further stated that one of the criticisms leveled against Ghana as a destination for travelers is that everyone must speak English, which does not enhance the country’s tourism position, stressing that the country’s strategic goal is to receive two million inbound tourists this year, and the regional component must also be considered.
Alian Ferolle Mboungou, the training consultant, stated that the program will assist practitioners in learning French and expressed hope that by the end of the session, participants will be able to speak French well enough to interact with French-speaking clients and make them feel at ease.
Richard Agyenim Boateng, Co-Ordinator of GhanaCARES Obatanpa Programme, stated that the initiative was designed to help practitioners in the sector overcome issues following the COVID-19 epidemic.
He said a series of training courses had earlier been held in areas like customer services, digital marketing, and tourism product knowledge to build the capacity of tourism practitioners.
Some participants expressed their impressions about the training, saying it would go a long way to project their facilities globally and create an environment for more French-speaking people to patronize their services.