By Frank Meke
This morning,over a hundred and fifty delegates from the Nigeria and Ghana tourism space will file out for a two day intensive course on tourism at the prestigious university of Johannesburg.
The West Coast of Africa team is made up of members of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies ( NANTA) and Tour Operators union of Ghana ( TOUGHA). It is the first ever tourism training curve by the two sisters West African countries to collaborate and engage through knowledge based ecosystems to up trade skills and change the industry socioeconomic narratives.
There are men trade professionals and influencers, but on verification, the women were in greater numbers and with many here , praying that the lecturers will not be distracted by the glamorous looking new female tourism students from West Africa.
Take it to the bank, the University of Johannesburg faculty on tourism, may open and facilitate West Africa Tourism training centres after this very contagious tourism event, and to which South Africa Tourism may ride to restore its dwindling influence as Africa’ s top tourism destination.
NANTA President, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, is upbeat about the success of this strategic tourism training refresher programme despite the initial visa tango for some Nigerian delegates, which nearly threatened the success of the agenda.
Addressing the delegates from both countries last night at the sixth floor board room of Hotel Sky in upscale Sandton, Johannesburg, Mrs Susan Akporiaye stated that the training conference should not be seen as a weekend jamboree, but a process to retool, re-examine and acquire trade skills to serve the industry better.
“I must plead for sense of seriousness and dedication. We must step out tomorrow ( today) to show remarkable sensitivity and acceptation to the need to relearn and learn how to push our trade advantages and treat our customers well. Tourism is serious business, and to thrive, we must do it differently, ” she explained.
Apart from TOUGHA President, pretty Alisa Asamoah, who also addressed the delegates, spokespersons from Gauteng tourism, and the University of Johannesburg, took time off to help keep the agenda in focus .
Head , West Africa Region, South Africa Tourism, Mr Thekiso Rakolojane, and Program director, African link, Ms Mmasati Ramawela also watered the delegates with inspiration.
This morning, breakfast will be served at 6 am, South Africa time ( 5am Nigeria), and Ghana (4am). Delegates depart thereafter to the University of Johannesburg, and at 9 am after the welcome ceremony , Mr Thekiso Rakolojane takes the podium to speak on ” let’s make the magic- the African way”.
Gauteng tourism spokesman, takes up ” living Travel…..loving Travel …… Being Travel. Mr 0upa Pilane, Deputy chairman, SATSA, rove on ” let’s Join Hands …. the African Way, “while Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa, CEO, Tourism Business Council of South Africa, navigates through the topic, ” let’s Talk Business…the African way.
The two West Africa tourism amazons, Nigeria’s Susan Akporiaye and Ghana’s Alisa Asamoah, take on ” Let’s Us Tell Tales- the African way” and ” let’s Find Fun- the African way” respectively.
After tea time at eleven hours, select industry experts will trade informed opinions on ” it’s Time For Africa “, thereafter, the University of Johannesburg takes up its tourism presentation and lectures on Theoretical and methodological signs of progress on social media and their influence on tourism, Entrepreneurship and its development in sphere of Tourism, Development of sustainable tourism in rural communities and Competitive features in tourism.