To ensure that tourist attractions in the country are up to standard, Ghanaian Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal has taken a tour of some of the sites with a view to addressing infrastructural challenges around the locations.
According to peacefmonline.com, Dr. Awal and officials of the ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) visited some tourist sites in Accra to acquaint themselves with the operations of these sites and to enquire about infrastructural deficits in the sector and how to solve them.
The tour which took place on Monday June 28, 2021, brings to 10, the number of regions the Minister had visited to have first-hand information of the sites and work towards making them attractive to both local and international tourists. Dr Awal said plans are in place to visit all the 16 regions of Ghana to enquire sites that needed to be developed and upgraded into acceptable standards. The sites visited include the National Museum, James Town light House and Receptive Facility, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, and Labadi Pleasure Beach.
Addressing the media after the visit, Dr Awal said: “government’s objectives of the sector is to at least develop two iconic sites in each of the 16 regions to improve the country’s tourism ranking in West Africa where it currently sits number three to Senegal and Gambia. By the end of 2024, we want Ghana to be the most attractive tourist destination in West Africa.”
At the National Museum in Adabraka, Dr. Awal promised to provide an amount of GH¢800,000 as a grant to complete renovation works at the museum’s main gallery. The facility, upon completion, is expected to be opened to the public by December this year.
At the La Pleasure Beach, Akwasi Agyemang, Chief Executive Officer of GTA, said the Ministry had sourced funding, under the Ghana Cares Programme to develop some model beaches and the starting point would be the La Pleasure Beach. He said guidelines in the new Legislative Instrument for the sector would have to be followed, with a master plan drafted as early as possible to embark on these projects.
“This is to make sure that the issue of employment, tenancy agreements, everything must be properly done including environmental and safety issues. The funding is ready and the Ministry is ready to develop the beach and many others.”
Mr. Agyemang also assured that the Minister was making a case for the beaches to be reopened to the public, a suggestion, he said, has attracted some discussions for safe reopening. “Once these guidelines and protocols are put in place, we would engage to discuss these rules and new protocols because this would be the model beach which others would emulate,” he added.
At the James Fort and Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, the Minister assured that the Ministry would upgrade the two facilities to meet international standards to attract both local and international visitors. He urged the directors of these facilities to support the President and the Ministry’s agenda of placing tourism at its rightful place in the economy.