In a changing global environment, where the internet is fast becoming a necessity rather than luxury, Ghanaian women entrepreneurs in tourism must leverage on internet websites to grow their businesses, Director of International Operations, Dubai Tourism, Stella Fubara-Obinwa has advised.
Fubara-Obinwa, who is in charge of Dubai Tourism’s African Market, said the lack of internet websites for most operators in the country’s tourism sector is a recipe for business retrogression.
“What most entrepreneurs don’t know is that the internet website actually does about 90 percent of the marketing and advertisement for the enterprise. I’m talking of active websites,” she told the Goldstreet Business on the sidelines of the maiden ‘Women in Tourism Summit’ in Accra.
Reports indicate that about 93 percent of entrepreneurs operating in the beads making, accessories, artifacts, restaurants, fashion design, car rentals, travel and tour and the accommodation sub-sector of the tourism industry, do not have websites for marketing their products and services.
Making a presentation on the topic, ‘Understanding the Ecosystem of Destination Marketing to Grow Your Business – an Unexplored Opportunity for Women Tourism Entrepreneurs’, Fubara-Obinwa argued that Ghana’s accolade of being a peaceful country is a product that can be branded and globally marketed through the internet.
As at December 2017, Ghana has 10. 1 million internet users, with internet penetration rate reaching 34.3 percent this year from the 28.4 percent in 2016.
However, Fubara-Obinwa said the growing rate of internet penetration must reflect in its usage for product marketing and advertisement.
“Last year, Dubai Tourism wanted to sponsor about 500 tourism entrepreneurs in Africa and it was difficult accessing them because, majority of them have no internet presence, neither were they responding to our emails. We had to struggle to arrive at 300,” she disclosed.
GTA’s CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, highlighting the importance of the event, said, the ‘Women in Tourism Summit’, was designed as a platform to kick-start the process of front-lining gender issues in the country’s tourism while encouraging women to thrive in the sector.
Researches points out that women make up large segment of the tourism sector, working in hotels, restaurants, eateries, fashion etc.
Yet, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) says most women working in the sector globally, are concentrated in the lowest paid bracket and lowest job status.
“This is what we seek to change in Ghana by recognizing women in the sector through collaborations with like-minded agencies and our parent Ministry, MoTAC to facilitate access to opportunities for women in the sector” he said.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe