Hon. Regional Minister
Hon. Members of Parliament,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
Heads of Departments
Heads, Directors and Staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its Implementing Agencies
President, Executives and Members of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and Other Private Sector Operators in the Tourism Industry
Tourism Industry Players
Our Cherished Youth and Students
Friends from the Media
Distinguished Invited Guests
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be here this morning in the oil city, Takoradi, as we officially celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day under the theme, "Tourism and Rural Development" which seeks to focus on the role and potential of rural communities for tourism development.
World Tourism Day, commemorated each year on 27 September, is the global observance day fostering awareness of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. 2020 marks the 40th anniversary of the first World Tourism Day.
May l take this opportunity to extend a warm "Akwaaba" to all our tourists visiting this beautiful city for the first time. Premised on the “Beyond The Return” project, we urge all diasporans and indigenes of our land to help push the investment drive associated with this ten (10) year project (2020-2030)
Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Ghanaian economy with linkages to various sectors, providing employment to several young people and creating an avenue for rural development.
Ghana has diverse natural, historical and cultural tourist attraction sites which are mostly located in the rural areas. For instance, Paga Crocodile Pond in the Upper East Region, Mole in the Savannah Region, Wauchia in the Upper West Region, Kintampo Waterfalls and Buaben Fiema Monkey Sanctuary in the Bono East Region, Craft production villages ie. Bonwire Kente Village, Ntonso Textile Village, Ahwia Carving Villages in the Ashanti Region, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary, Wli Waterfall and beautiful scenery in the Volta Region. Nzulezu Stilt Village, beautiful beaches, forts and castles here in the Western Region. These are all rural based attraction sites. There are also numerous festivals and cultural activities which are rural centered. The theme, focusing on Tourism and Rural Development is therefore appropriate since there is a correlation between both.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, tourism will continue to grow at an average of 3% annually until 2030. This growth reflects the progressive expansion of access to tourism more especially in the rural communities and distributing wealth.
Tourism provides direct and indirect jobs in the rural areas thereby complimenting the government's agenda of creating jobs and employment to the citizenry.
Since the private sector is the engine of growth, the Ministry strongly considers the private sector wing, Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) as one of the key partners and as an avenue in the provision of jobs and employment thus creating a better future for all especially in the rural communities. We will continue to engage the private sector trade associations including the Hotels, Restaurants, Travel and Tour Agencies, Chop Bars, Guest Houses, Tourist Sites and Attractions, on how we can together expand the industry to provide more jobs in the rural communities.
Inspite of the impact of COVID 19 on the Tourism, Travel and Hospitality industry, we are gradually waking up from the slumber as we recently unveiled the Seven (7) pillars of the “Beyond The Return” project that seeks to push investment into the country especially the rural developing areas to help boost the sector thereby providing employment and income to the local population. In order to mitigate the impact of the COVID 19 on Tourism and to drive the sector’s recovery, It is important to have a more sustainable and resilient future.
Distinguished Ladies and gentlemen, the importance of domestic tourism cannot be overemphasized as it helps to accelerate the development of rural areas since there would be compelling reasons for the development of road infrastructure, portable drinking water, reliable telecommunications networks and sustainable receptive facilities for both international and domestic tourism. Domestic tourism promotes the redistribution of income from the urban rich to the rural communities, foster national cohesion, create decent jobs and livelihood opportunities for the rural communities and provide revenue to the District Assemblies.
The Ministry’s Policy to promote domestic tourism under the World Bank's Ghana Tourism Development Project has skills development as well as upgrade of sites and attractions taking center stage. This offers us the opportunity to expand our tourism reach by turning to our rural communities. The Ministry and its agencies are also undertaking several other projects like the Highway Rest Stops, Tourism Receptive Facilities, Tourism Information Centres, just to mention a few, which will ultimately lead to expansion of tourism more especially in the rural communities.
Ladies and Gentlemen, l would like to once again call on all stakeholders including the Traditional Authorities, District and Municipal Assemblies, Heads of Departments, the Private Sector and media to partner the Ministry and its agencies to deliver its mandate to the good people of Ghana.
Thank you and God bless us all.
Long live The Oil City!
Long live The Tourism Industry!!
Long live Our Homeland, Ghana!!!