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General News of Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Source: Daily Graphic

Million Tourists Coming To Ghana

...No sex tourists allowed
About one million football fans and tourists are expected in the country to round off the Jubilee year and usher in the Ghana 2008 football tournament. This represents an expected increase of about 55 per cent over the arrivals in 2006 when 497,129 tourists visited the country.

Receipts from tourists in 2006 were $987 million and that figure is expected to hit a record high in January 2008.

The Public Relations Manager of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), Mr. Ben Ohene-Ayeh, who made this known, said the Ministry was working closely with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) to ensure that football fans and tourists enjoyed the maximum comfort during their stay in the country. He said rooms in five-star to two-star hotels had increased from 19,967 to 21,159 in the major hosting cities of Accra, Kumasi, Secondi-Takoradi and Tamale.

He said the board was working in close collaboration with the society agencies to provide security, as well as protect the local population from sex tourists, and warned that the board would not hesitate to inform the security agencies about the hotels and brothels that were used as sex tourism destinations.

Mr. Ohene-Ayeh said the GTB was determined to ensure that tourists who visited the country carried away with them good impressions to enable them return.

An official of the LOC said about 12,000 accredited officials, including media practitioners, were expected to cover the tournament. According to officials of the hotels and the Kumasi branch of the GTB, all the necessary measures, including improved facilities and training of hotel staff, needed to ensure quality services for guests had either been completed or were almost completed to project the image of Kumasi and Ghana as a credible host of the Ghana 2008 festival.

A visit to some of the hotels by the Daily Graphic revealed that nothing was being left to chance to project the hospitality industry using the soccer fiesta.