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STATEMENT DELIVERED BY THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF THE GHANA TOURISM AUTHORITY ON THE OCCASION OF THE UNWTO WORLD TOURISM DAY CELEBRATIONS HELD ON 27TH SEPTEMBER, 2020 AT THE , TAKORADI - WESTERN REGION

 Nana Chairman

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

The Clergy 

Tourism Industry Players

Esteemed Sponsors

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!!!

 

SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE MINISTER OF TOURISM, ARTS AND CULTURE; HON. BARBARA OTENG-GYASI AT THE GRAND DURBAR OF THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD TOURISM DAY CELEBRATION ON 27TH SEPTEMBER 2020 AT TAKORADI- WESTERN REGION

 

MR. CHAIRMAN

MINISTERS OF STATE, MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT

MUNICIPAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE

HEADS OF MUNICIPAL, DISTRICT AND ASSEMBLIES

NANANOM, AHEMAA

RELIGIOUS LEADERS

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

 

The year 2020, happens to be the worst year for the tourism and hospitality industry globally. This has been due to the negative effects of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly due to the placement of restrictions on movement, travel as well as human interactions, which the tourism industry thrives on.

For us in Ghana, some of the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry are; the watering down of the many successes chalked by the “Year of Return” Campaign, a delay in the launch and roll out of the “Beyond the Return” activities and a general downturn in the industry’s performance.  

We in Ghana have seen significant progress in the battle against the pandemic as a result of measures put in place by HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Government and the co-operation and support of the general public. Restrictions have been lessened and it is a blessing for us to be alive to witness this year’s United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Day celebration under the theme ‘‘Tourism and Rural Development”.

Mr. Chairman, it is significant to note that for the first time in the history of  World Tourism Day, the 2020 official celebration will be hosted by a group of countries and not by a single nation. The Mercosur nations (which comprises of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile which has observer status) are hosting this year’s World Tourism Day. This cross-border cooperation of the Mercosur nations reflects the current need for international solidarity and cooperation, towards the achievement of a common goal, especially in tourism development and sustainbility.

This year’s UNWTO Day celebration presents an opportunity for the promotion of rural tourism. Rural tourism, highlights the unique and important role that tourism can play in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage as well as curbing of rural urban migration through the provision of opportunities outside the cities. The significance of our rural communities for tourism and for that matter domestic tourism lies in the fact that they play a major role in our daily lives including what we eat, how we dress, the tangible and intangible aspects of our cultural heritage, as captured by the Ghana Tourism Authority’s marketing motif  “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana”.

Ladies and Gentlemen, as mentioned earlier, Ghana’s tourism made tremendous strides in the “Year of Return” in 2019, but unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic impacted negatively on the tourism industry. Mr Chairman, the good news, however, is that the sector is expecting 200,000 more visitors from the diaspora to visit tourist sites in the country as the COVID-19 scourge continues to go down. This is corterminous with the “Beyond the Return” initiative, which to a great extent, seeks to position Ghana as the homeland destination for the Africans in the diaspora.

Whilst the industry recovers, stakeholders must find ways to sustain the industry by observing the safety and hygiene protocols that have been put in place by Government; this will go a long way in helping the industry bounce back.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Government of Ghana has put in place short and long term sustainable measures that are helping fight and contain the pandemic and help people and businesses to lessen the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. For us in the tourism industry, Government rolled out a US$4 million facility to be used for the development of tourism sites and information centres and an extra US$5 million for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in tourism enterprises and businesses that have been affected by the pandemic. There is also an allocation of GH₵600 million stimulus package for operators in the tourism and hospitality industry as well as the allocation of GH₵50 million to the Creative Arts and the Media.

These moves form part of measures to cushion operators in the tourism and hospitality industry, due to the adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, Ghana received an endorsement of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) global safety and hygiene endorsement stamp. This recognition identifies Ghana as one of the safest and preferred holiday tourist destinations amongst other countries in the world. This achievement, Ladies and Gentlemen, will help reopen the travel and tourism sector and provide a significant boost to the national economy.

Mr. Chairman, Nananom, Ghana abounds in unique existing and potential tourism attractions and the Western Region has even more to show. The Western Region boasts of its own unique tourism and hospitality offerings such as castles, beaches, forest reserves, cuisines, cultures, hotels etc., The Western Region is also popularly known for Nzulezo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mr. Chairman, as impressive and varied as our tourism attractions are in Ghana and in the Western Region, there is the need for sustained marketing programmes and the involvement of local communities in the development and promotion of both domestic and international tourism. To this end, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) commends the various stakeholders in tourism development and operation, whose activities have placed their communities on the tourism map, created employment and generated revenue that have positively impacted the livelihood of members of their communities. In executing one of our core mandates, which translates into the development of tourism products, the MoTAC, will continue to improve sanitation along the beaches in the Western Region and the rest of Ghana. This is necessary to improve sanitation at the beaches so that tourism potential can be harnessed.

Also, in order to improve visitor experience at the Ankasa Rainforest Reserve, MoTAC has secured a partnership agreement with stakeholders to improve the physical ambience by constructing more washrooms at the Reserve.   

Ladies and Gentlemen, in a move to preserve and maintain our Museums, Castles and Cultural Heritage, the Ministry inaugurated an 11-member committee to plan the establishment of a Gold Museum in Tarkwa towards preserving the long history of the gold industry in Ghana. The significance of the establishment of the museum is to research, collect, interpret, preserve and exhibit tangible and intangible evidence of gold production and its significance in our society and also to boost tourism. In addition, the establishment of the museum will give impetus for providing infrastructure as well as create economic incentives for the regeneration of the rural environment, while creating opportunities for development and employment in the Western Region.

Mr. Chairman, Nananom, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the theme   ‘‘Tourism and Rural Development” presents us with another momentous opportunity for the preservation of our heritage and culture, whilst contributing to economic development.  In this light, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture wishes to pledge its continued support towards the promotion and development of holistic tourism in Ghana.

 

On this note, I wish to express my profound appreciation to all stakeholders involved in the planning of this celebration and making it a reality.

Long live Ghana Tourism! Long live the Western Region!!

God bless us all and Our Homeland Ghana!

WORLD TOURISM DAY PLANNING COMMITTEE INAUGURATED

13 SEP,2020.

The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ziblim Iddi Barri, has charged the committee responsible for the organization of this year’s World Tourism Day Celebration, to live up to their bidding in making the forthcoming event a memorable one.

He stressed that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic on hand, the committee must strive to further market Ghana on the global map by discharging their duties diligently.

This according to him would further improve Ghana’s image, given the huge success the nation has chalked in the Year of Return Programme by attracting both international and local tourists to Ghana’s attraction sites.

Dr. Barri made these remarks at the inauguration of the Planning Committee for this year’s World Tourism Day Celebration slated for September 27, on the theme: “Building Peace: Fostering Knowledge.”

He said globally, tourism has been viewed as a lead sector for the economic growth and developmental transformational agenda, since it has the propensity to create jobs and accelerate infrastructure development.

He said many countries and local communities around the world including Japan, China, and Korea have properly used tourism to improve on their socio-cultural and economies of their nations, which has invariably reduced poverty in their countries.

He bemoaned that “Despite Africa’s rich tourism attractions, the continent is still lagging in its quest for development,” he said.

He urged the committee to discharge their duties diligently and ensure that the celebration becomes a success.

Mr. John Yao Agbeko, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, also urged the committee members to fast track their work to meet the timelines of the programme.

Mrs. Bella Ahu, President of the Ghana Tourism Federation and also Co-Chairperson of the planning committee, assured the Deputy Minister that the committee would deliver on its mandate to achieve the overall goal of making the forthcoming celebration huge success.

Meanwhile, World Tourism Day is commemorated each year, on September 27, to foster awareness among the international and local communities of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value across the world.

DIRECTORS AND HEADS OF AGENCIES AT MOTAC TAKE THEIR TURN AT THE SENSITIZATION MEETING ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION BILL – ACT 989 of 2019

On Wednesday 8th July, 2020, Directors and Heads of Agencies at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture took their turn at a briefing section by the Ministry of Information.

 In a short statement delivered by the Director of Human Resource at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Vittus Otto Langmagne, he said it was important that the necessary briefing is given to frontline officers, to enable government achieve the smooth implementation of the RTI Bill in Ghana.  According him, the sensitization meeting was a step in the right directors to make the exercise effective in order for government to achieve its purpose.

 

Briefing Directors and Heads of Agencies, Ms. Amma Frimpong said the rationale for the sensitization meetings on the RTI Bill is to ensure that every citizen has the right to information, in order for all to be informed about what is happening our country.

According to her, information is a good resource and the foundation for good governance and democracy.  It will also help us to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

She said there were standards and benchmarks for national and international regimes and this gives effect to freedom of information.  It also helps to promote open government and allows citizens to be given progress on what is taking place in their environments.

 

According to her, though there are exemptions, the idea is to help facilitate access and make information cost effective.  The Bill informs us as to who can have access to information, receive and determine whether an applicant can have access to information or not.  It is this that helps us to streamline the usage and abuse of information by the citizenry.

 

In summary, the good thing about the Bill according to Ms. Amma Frimpong is that it gives protection to all and sundry.

Ministry Overview

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture was renamed in 2017 through Executive Instrument E.I28 Civil Service (Ministries) Instrument, 2017 by His Excellency the President, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo to replace the then Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts. The Ministry’s policy directive is to provide a firm, stable policy environment for effective mainstreaming of Ghanaian arts and culture into all aspects of national life. This it is believed will help in ensuring the emergence of a strong, vibrant and creative environment that would help improve and advance the Tourism, Arts and Culture industry in Ghana.


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