The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, has expressed his unwavering commitment to make tourism sector the number one contributor to Ghana's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Speaking at a two-day retreat for the management staff and heads of Agencies under the Ministry in Akosombo last Thursday, Dr. Awal said, we would make domestic tourism the top most priority to attract about one million local tourist visits annually.
Boosting domestic tourism, profiling and packaging tourist sites and marketing them through the digital platforms as well as collaborating with ministry of transport to work on roads leading to attraction sites are some of the means to achieve the vision.
He added that he would specifically work to increase tourism proceeds to $5 billion by 2022. Tourism proceeds have been a little above $1billion, except in 2019, when the year of return perked it up to about $4 billion.
The Hon. Minister observed that the Tourism industry was not doing well as expected and indicated his resolve to turn the economic fortunes of the sector by creating massive employment opportunities for the Ghanian citizenry.
Dr. Awal intimated that upon his assumption of office, H. E, The President, Nana Akufo Addo indicated to him to use his business acumen and entrepreneural skills to change the face of the country’s tourism industry.
The Minister emphasized that he would infuse business perspectives and Strategic Policy direction that would rake in huge financial gains for the Tourism arena.
He further expressed his commitment to upgrade the country’s tourist sites to meet world-class standards that would make Ghana an attractive tourist destination; adding that tourism was a multi-billion-dollar industry needing utmost attention.
The Minister entreated the Heads of Agencies of the Ministry to endeavour to, as a matter of Policy direction, always have recouse to him before undertaking Policy actions in their
The Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. John Yao Agbeko, said the meeting was to afford the Policy Makers an opportunity to have a deeper knowledge of the Sector-wide performance from the Agency Heads presentations.
Thirteen (13) Heads of Agencies under the Ministry took turns to make presentations on their respective Agencies policy interventions.