Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, has urged journalists to highlight and emphasise the peaceful nature of the country to help attract tourists and investments.
He said one of the key things that motivated tourists and investments was the peaceful nature of a destination adding that Ghana was one of the most stable countries in the world.
‘Despite the fact that we have over 70 ethnic groups and different religions, we still live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters’.
Dr Awal addressing journalists in Koforidua, in the Eastern region, during a Media Capacity Building Training on Tourism said it was aimed at recognising the media as partners in the Ministry’s chain to make sure Ghanaians appreciated the role of tourism, arts and culture in the national development effort.
He said journalists must also emphasize the heritage tourism of the country which included the forts and castles as well as its culinary delights such as local foods to attract tourists who would have
taste of the foods.
Dr Awal said the government had appreciated the role of tourism, arts, and culture in the country’s development by giving attention to the sector in its budget allocations.
He said the Ministry was expecting a total of 1.2 million international tourists and 1.2 million domestic tourism which was expected to accrue $3.6 billion receipts from international tourism this year.
Dr Awal said the Ministry was not only preserving culture and making money but also creating jobs for the youth.
He said the Ministry hoped to receive 2 million international tourists a year by 2026 adding that by 2026, it was the hope that tourism, arts, and culture would become the number one contributor to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Dr Awal revealed that the government and the Ministry were committed to fixing all tourism roads systematically, adding that it had already begun from key tourist attractions.
He called on journalists to highlight and tell tourism stories to help create jobs and opportunit
ies for all.
Dr Awal said the Ministry would work with the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) to institute a national tourism, arts, and culture awards scheme to honour hardworking journalists.
Mr Geoffrey D. Tamakloe, a Director at the Ministry on behalf of Mr John Yaw Agbeko, Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), gave an overview of the Ministry, its functions and agencies and development partners it worked with.
He said the Ministry was supposed to create a conducive environment for economic development through partnerships with the private sector in diaspora.
Madam Dinah Adu-Owusu, Eastern Regional Director, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) admonished the participants to propagate the message on the country’s tourism sector to the citizenry and globally.
Ghana is currently the most preferred tourism destination in West Africa.
Participants were drawn from the Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta, and Oti regions.
Source: Ghana News Agency