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General News of Friday, 27 September 2019

Source: Ivan Heathcote- umador

Government to introduce new guidelines for regulating tourist sites in Ghana

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

As Ghana Marks World Tourism Day on Friday 27th September 2020; Government is taking steps to fashion out standards to regulate the multimillion dollar tourism industry in Ghana.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Creative Arts is in its advanced stages of releasing a tourism regulation document to guide the sector.

The draft Legislative Instrument is expected to establish standards for running of tourism sites in Ghana in a way comparable to international best practices.

The document when finalized will among other things cater for issues of health; organisation; staffing; sanitation and professionalism in running tourist sites in Ghana.

Government is optimistic the country will be better placed to attract increased tourism revenues when this regulatory instrument comes on stream.

Speaking exclusively to Ultimate News, Minister of Tourism creative arts and culture Barbara Gyasi was confident the move will be a game changer for tourism Ghana.

She explained, “We have various tourist sites across the country which we need to leverage to generate revenue to impact our economic development but to do this effectively, we need to ensure that these sites are properly regulated.”

The minister who doubles as the MP for the Prestea/ Huni-Valley constituency told reporter Ivan Heathcote-Fumador that the draft legislative instrument has inputs from traditional authorities, heads of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies and the Tourism Authority.

Parliament’s select committee on trade, industry and tourism has already begun considering the content of the Tourism Regulation Document 2019.

Expressing his views about the legislative document, Member of Parliament for Shama and Vice Chair of the committee Ato Panford was confident the policy direction is necessary to enhance Ghana’s tourism potentials.

Our duty is to have oversight responsibility over the ministry and also ensure that agencies are performing exactly what they are expected to do and I believe that there is still yet more that we can tap as a nation in terms of tourism. We are looking at other areas also in harnessing our eco tourism and other factors that can enhance local tourism in Ghana.

The Grand Durbar of This year’s International Tourism Day Event is being held in the Ashanti Regional capital Kumasi under the theme "Tourism and Jobs — A Better Future For All."

The theme connects with statistics of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation which indicates that tourism generates 10% of world jobs and is included in Sustainable Development Goal 8 for its potential to create decent work.

According to statistics from World Tourism Watchers; Ghana’s tourism revenues will hit some 8.3billion dollars annually by the year 2027.

This bright prospect is expected to attract an estimated number of 4.3 million international tourists, landing on the shores of Ghana every year.

Ghana can confidently boast of 33 Heritage sites; 30 Eco Tourism sites and 27 Adventure scenes.

The nation is also replete with over 20 Cultural Sites; 14 Historical Sites and 12 Forts & Castles linked with Pan African roots.

Another area that attracts huge tourist patronage is the 11 Festivals of different tribes; Craft Villages comprising kenta, fugu, pottery and sculpture hubs.

National Monuments; Museums & Theatres also generate considerable tourism traffic from both local and international tourists.

This huge potential has however been largely untapped due to factors like low publicity; poor road access; unplanned tourist sites; lack of creativity; unskilled tour guides; poor safety and sanitation just to mention a few.