Home » Africa: Accra Weizo Panelists, stakeholders harp on the need to embrace digitalization to grow tourism

Africa: Accra Weizo Panelists, stakeholders harp on the need to embrace digitalization to grow tourism

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Accra Weizo

Panelists at the just concluded 6th edition of Accra Weizo travel fair have stressed on the need for government agencies and vendors of tourism products to embrace digitalization grow the sector in various regions of the continent.

This is just as stakeholders at the yearly event agreed that for the sector to witness increasing growth, exploitation of digital processes must be at the front burner in marketing tourism offerings.

Speaking on the theme: “Tourism Development Through Digitalization”, the panelists which included Akosua Shirley (a tourism blogger), Eddie Ampah (Afrofuture), Eugene Allotey (University of Ghana Business School, Legon) and Dr. Olanma Alvanis Ojukwu (GOTA Travel), affirmed that employing digital technology in an organization increases efficiency, productivity, lower operational costs, improve customer experience, communication, transparency, and faster decision making in order to improve competitive advantage.

According to the panelists, embracing technology to enhance processes in an organization comes with its own pitfalls such as cost of implementation, high cost of date, rigidity on the part of staff to adapt to change and loss of job.

READ: MICE: Accra Weizo the West African Tourism fair returns to Ghana after a 3 years hiatus due to Covid19

They noted that if technology is properly deployed, the benefits far outweigh the pit falls.

On her part, Akosua Shirley, said tourism organisations and businesses should adopt digitization to create brand awareness and engage with potential clients in the sector.

Speaking also, the moderator of the panel, Prof. Eunice Fay Amissah Hospitality and Tourism Department, University of Cape Coast, the use of digital platforms as increase the variety and volume of tourism services and experiences.

READ: Africa: The Royal Senchi Hotel Ghana to partner Accra Weizo travel expo for 6th edition

She said: “We require that coordinated efforts be enhanced to foster an innovative cultural awareness in digital innovativeness. Tourism is one of the early sectors to embrace digitalization. Digital technology has transformed the tourism industry significantly. Digitalization has also transformed the traditional roles of tourism producers and consumers. With new functions, relationships, business models and competencies that are now emerging. The increase in online travel agents is one of the most dramatic changes that digital transformation brought about. And the COVID pandemic has also accelerated the need for digital business practices as travelers now demand digital communications, online service and contactless service.”

Dr. Kobby Mensah, University of Ghana Business School, Legon, who spoke also at the event, said tourism agencies of government should employ technology in disseminating positive information on tourist destinations in the country to ignite interest in tourist’s sites.

According him, to attract tourists to a tourism site, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) must ensure that it develop positive image the destination.

On his part, the Board Chairman, GTA, Hon. Seth Adjei Baah, noted that the world is witnessing an unprecedented period of digital transformation that will not only affect tourism, but also the global economy as a whole.

“This transformation is driven by new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, digital identities and virtual reality, and is transforming the way we do business. Businesses are now able to use digital tools to increase efficiency, reduce costs, increase speed, and provide more tailored services to Customers.

“The tourism industry is no different. We can use the power of digitization to create an environment that encourages innovation and competition, and that provides a platform for businesses to reach new customers and capture more of the existing market.

“But this transformation must come with safeguards to protect consumer rights. We must ensure that the right data is collected and stored securely, and that customers are informed about their digital footprints. We must also ensure that the tourism industry is able to attract the best talent, and provide a safe and secure working environment, and that businesses are able to compete fairly in a global market.” He said.

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