Ghana is well positioned to become the tourism destination in West Africa given the abundant resources and the prevailing peace in the country, Ms Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, has said.
She said Ghana was increasing her investment portfolio in the sector for accelerated socio-economic growth.
Ms Oteng-Gyasi, addressing Ghana’s commemoration of the 2019 World Tourism Day, in Kumasi, said the sector contributed about 5.5 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) last year.
It currently employs over one million Ghanaians along the value chain with plans to increasing the figure substantially in the near future.
This year’s celebration sought to create awareness on the potentials inherent in the tourism sector as a driver of economic growth and wealth-creation.
According to the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), one out of 10 jobs globally is tourism-related.
Ms Oteng-Gyasi hinted that the Marine Drive Development Project, as well as the numerous programmes being undertaken to upgrade tourist facilities, were intended to expand the frontiers of the sector.
This would help put those facilities in good shape to attract more visitors to the country.
Added to these are various initiatives to develop the skills of stakeholders for efficient service delivery.
Mr Akwasi Agyemang, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, described this year’s Day as historic as it coincided with Ghana’s declaration of the ‘Year of Return’.
“We are welcoming our African brothers in the Diaspora back home after so many years living abroad,” he noted, adding that the occasion had brought enormous benefits to the nation.
Barima Akwasi Offe Okogyeasuo, the Paramount Chief of Kokofu, said the nation must take tourism seriously, being the fastest growing sectors in the world.
By Stephen Asante