Broadcast Journalist Abeiku Santana who doubles as a tourism destination consultant has started a self-sponsored project to educate commercial taxi drivers across Ghana on how to make the country an attractive tourism destination.
Abeiku who is a Tourism Ambassador in collaboration with Kaya Tours and Total Ghana Limited met Taxi Drivers at the 37 lorry station on Wednesday August 3, 2016, to educate them on how they can promote tourism and make more income.
Apart from educating the Taxi Drivers on how they can make extra money just by knowing their role to promote tourism through proper communication with their passengers especial foreigners, among other things, Abeiku Santana gave the driver free complimentary cards with their name, contact and other relevant information aid them in their task as tourism ambassadors.
Former Black Star Captain Stephen Appiah who is a brand ambassador for Total Ghana also used the opportunity to introduce the Total Card to the commercial drivers. Great musicians including Becca, Obaapa Christy, Celestine Donkor, Bernice Ansah among other entertained the drivers.
“Operators of our commercial transport systems are an integral part of our tourism drive and we cannot relax and expect that the drivers would on their own learn how to treat and relate professionally with tourists who visit our country.
“Tourism is not only about our heritage sites or our leisure centres, but how we relate to tourists, our food vendors and restaurants and every single aspect of our daily lives as a people and that is why we are going round from one bus terminal to the other educating the drivers and giving them some orientation on basic and fundamental skills in how to handle tourists and make them want to visit your country again. It is a skill that has to be taught and learnt,” Abeiku Santana statred.
The campaign has seen Abeiku Santana and his team move from one station to the other within the Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta Regions.
According to Abeiku that the other regions will be covered and that funding the orientation exercise across the country and getting logistics for the work was costly.
“The feedback from the drivers who benefitted from our orientation at the stations we visited has been overwhelming. There are instances where we print business cards for the drivers so they can give to their passengers, link them up with the appropriate persons at the restaurants, hotels and leisure centres in their locality to make bookings faster and easier and even explain to them the different types of tourists who visit the country and how to treat each category of tourists.
“Even the type of music to play in their vehicles, how to make their drive a memorable one and how to sell Ghana to the tourists are some of the things we talk to them about,” Santana disclosed.
Abeiku Santana was recently appointed as one of Ghana’s official tourism ambassadors, and he has since embarked on ‘tourism awareness’ across the country.