A conversation with a member

by Egi Gaisie

Did you know?

In nature, birds of the same species often flock together as a safety precaution, since congregating in large groups would reduce their risk of predation. This behavior of birds is where this idiom (birds of the same feather flock together) originates from.

I have a passion towards anything hospitality/tourism including this member of GHATOF I am about to introduce. I must confess I also have a soft heart towards this association. I perceive myself as one of their own. If we were all birds, this is the association I would be flocking with, in Ghana!

Mrs. Matilda Asamoah – Appiah, my Guest, represents this association. She is in her second consecutive term as President of the Institute of Hospitality (Ghana), IH (G). She has been a member of IH which was formally HCIMA (Hotel & Catering International Management Association), for the past 20 years. She is a former lecturer of Kumasi Technical University and is now on contract at Christ Apostolic University College Kwadaso, Kumasi, as Head of the Hospitality and Tourism Department, where she has been since 2012.

HOST: Welcome and thank you, Mrs. Asamoah-Appiah for making time for us on First, I need to get clarification about IH. I know there is the Institute of Hospitality, U.K. which is abbreviated as IoH. Kindly give us a brief on IH (G).

GUEST: First, a little historical background. There used to be a Catering Teachers’ Association (local) which was dissolved upon the formation of HCIMA, (Hotel & Catering International Management Association), an international association. Members of the Catering Teachers’ Association were asked to join HCIMA. In 2007 there was a name change and HCIMA became known as the Institute of Hospitality.

IH (G) is really supposed to be a branch of the Institute of Hospitality, UK. However for some time now, only a few of our members are members of IoH, UK. We are currently working on our numbers so that we can get a lot more of us to register as members of IoH U.K., to regain our status.  You know things are not going too well now, financially.

HOST: So who makes up the membership of IH(G)?

GUEST: Our membership includes lecturers and students of hospitality, hospital kitchen staff, as well as chefs. We have affiliate members who are home economists. Until recently, there were a number of caterers among us. However, they pulled out to form the Traditional Caterers Association.

HOST: What areas of interest does IH(G) represent in GHATOF?

GUEST: We have members who are practitioners in the industry. It is our hope that they will also enjoy some of the incentives and other benefits received by trade associations under GHATOF.

HOST: Associations generally sponsor a variety of events throughout the year that allow members to connect with their peers and to impart on society in general. What events does IH (G) engage in, both on the national and regional levels?

GUEST: We organize competitions among schools and invite industry members as assessors; we organize sight-seeing for members. We have also adopted some institutions to carry out charity work. For example, the Accra branch has Dzorwulu Special School and Kumasi branch the Children’s home in Kumasi. The Kumasi branch was also organizing workshops for its members particularly in the area of nutrition and hygiene, food and beverage service and accommodation.

HOST: The hospitality and tourism industry takes a toll on us, practitioners and lecturers and I guess students too… Could these be good enough reasons for what seems like a lack of commitment in our association?

 GUEST: When IH (G) was centralized, I know members who would travel from the regions to meetings in Accra. However when we decentralized I observed that most of the regional meetings are on our technical university campuses. The timetables at these institutions and industry work schedules seemed to be clashing so participation in meetings dwindled.

HOST: IH (G) has a large student membership. How can you, IH (G), support and help them to achieve professional recognition?

GUEST: The students are being trained to be entrepreneurs and not to depend on the government for jobs; they are being encouraged to join the association, IH (G), in their respective regions as well as the ‘mother’ international group, IoH, U.K.

HOST: How does one get in touch with IH(G)?

GUEST: We have regional reps on the various Technical University campuses in the hospitality department. We also have regional coordinators. You may contact this number 0542470820 for links to other regions.

HOST: Thank you, once again, Mrs. Asamoah-Appiah, and all the best.

My view

It will be worth regaining IoH, UK status

The Institute of Hospitality (IoH, formerly HCIMA) is a global professional body for managers and aspiring managers. It has student membership as well.

Considering the widening gap between industry and academia, gaining IoH status could contribute immensely in working towards uniting professionals, promoting best practices, enhancing skills and raising the profile of the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry in Ghana

This happens to be my last feature on ‘Getting to Know GHATOF’ and for the year 2021. I have personally learnt a lot about GHATOF and her members. I am thankful to GHATOF for giving me this opportunity to nose into her members to enable me to write about her. I am particularly grateful for all the associations and affiliate members who cooperated with me to finish what felt like a marathon race when I started with an interaction with the President of GHATOF, Madam Bella Ayayee Bella Ahu. And for my readers, thanks for the encouraging messages through private chats/text messages. This was a race worth running. Thank you.

A Book Launch Event (Reminder)

Title: TOUR GUIDING: The Ultimate Guide To Theory & Practice

Authors: Cosmos Sracooh & Kwaku Passah Snr.

Date: Wednesday, 1st December 2021

Time: 3:00pm -5:00pm

Venue: Accra Tourist Information Centre (ATIC), Liberation Road

An easy to read and learning resource packed with top tips and useful advice from two of our own professional experts.

 Don’t miss out on this book launch!

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