Business News of Sat, 12 Aug 20170
FEATURE: Jobs for the people: Tourism and hospitality's contribution
The cool thing about unemployment is that every day is a holiday. However, a holiday is only fun and interesting when you have money to spend. How do you make money without regular income? One sure way of getting income regularly is by getting a job. In Ghana, jobs are not easy to come by with layoffs and job cuts year-on-year.
According to a world bank report in 2016, 48% of Ghanaian youth are unemployed.In 2015,tourism contributed 2.6% of total employment in Ghana which means there is great opportunity and potential for the tourism and hospitality industries to absorb unemployed Ghanaians. Jumia Travel, Africa’s leading online travel website delves into tourism and hospitality’s contribution to employment in Ghana.
Hotels - You may see them along your main roads or in deep corners around your neighbourhood. Just maybe, the word hotel may be an exaggeration. Let’s refer to all of them as accommodation facilities which would then include guest houses, hostels and apartments. There are lots of opportunities for employment here both for skilled and unskilled personnel.
High management roles are available in 5,4,3,2 and 1 star hotels across the country. There are other departments in a hotel or guesthouse that needs hands for effective operation. Think about the cleaners, receptionists, kitchen staff, room service, IT technicians and Marketing officers.
The opportunities here are not restricted to the ones mentioned because several other sub departments exist and it is important that everyone who is unemployed considers it. This may not necessarily be your dream job but it is a great place to start and build a career or network.
Restaurants - One of the most ancient professions is catering. This is something that comes naturally to women too. Right from infancy through adolescence, girls are taught how to cook and cater for people. Many restaurants in Ghana are built not only for the local markets but also to cater for international tourists. There is great opportunity here for cooks, chefs, waiters and quality assurance managers. If you are self-employed or looking for a ready market to tap into, why not look at supplying logistics and equipments to these restaurants. You may even venture into agriculture or farming with the purpose of supplying fresh produce to the restaurants.
Tour Guides - Some people who live in suburbs or smaller cities often tend to feel maligned when it comes to employment. Rather than sit down and wallow in self pity, why not take advantage of the massive opportunity that is sitting at many of our tourist sites. Fortunately, many of Ghana’s tourist sites are located far away in local communities and villages. You can train to become a tour guide by learning about the history of these sites from the elderly or by enrolling to learn from a recognized institution. Selling of souvenirs is one very common practice at tourist sites and it takes a very innovative individual to venture into a different product. Being a tour guide is also a great opportunity to expand your network, meet people and establish professional relationships. Who knows, you may just move on to much bigger heights from there.
Aviation - Arguably one of the most flashy and perceived luxurious facets of the tourism and hospitality industries. Often, when one says ‘’i work at the airport’’ is greeted with an expectation of riches and luxury. Not everyone who works in an airport is a pilot or an air hostess. There are actually very amazing jobs available such as baggage carriers, cabin crew, baggage checkers, check-in attendants and many more. Here too, you can even sell souvenirs to tourists as well as Ghanaians at both arrival and departure halls. Ever thought about how tourists move from one place to the other? Taking up a chauffeur job or assisting stranded travelers book a hotel can be an interesting venture to try out.
Trade - Buying and selling. This is basically what we see trade to be. In tourism and hospitality, there is always exchange of some goods and services. The major form of trade is that of souvenirs or Ghanaian items to foreign visitors. Ghana is rich in culture and tradition so it makes a lot of sense that many unemployed Ghanaians take up the mantle and sell Ghana to the world whiles making good income in the process. Several items that can be sold include kente, artworks, beads, branded shirts , African print clothing, ceramics, straw hats and many other Ghanaian paraphernalia. Once it is beautiful, it will sell.
Overall, we must admit that the world is moving in a certain direction.
ONLINE!!! Everyone must take advantage of it with the tourism and hospitality industries playing a vital role in it’s development. There is a large bowl of opportunities awaiting anyone who is interested. Nearly every process in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry can be done online with several travel agencies now operating online shops. Various ventures have been opened with Jumia taking the lead as Africa’s leading online travel website. The booking of hotels, flights and travel packages not only makes it easier for travelers to come to Ghana at competitive rates but also opens a great opportunity for many more unemployed Ghanaians to be gainfully employed.
Credit : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel