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Opinions of Thursday, 24 October 2019

Columnist: Nana Akua Prempeh Agyarko Dornyo

The Tourism Industry of Ghana

The growth of every institution depends on the professionalism of its workforce. From the layman’s perspective, tourism is entertainment that focuses on good customer service.

Apart from promoting and marketing a destination locally and internationally, tourism is multi-sectoral as it cuts across agriculture, health, manufacturing, sports and many more.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture engages in policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation of its agencies. Its Eleven agencies include, The Ghana Tourism Authority, The Ghana Tourism Development Agency, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, The National Commission on Culture, The National Theatre of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and W.E.B Dubois Centre. The rest are Folklore Board, Bureau of Ghana Languages, Hotel Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) and Pan African Writers Association.

Over the years, the Ghana Tourism Authority has played its pivotal role as the main implementing agency in promoting and marketing tourism both domestically and internationally. A Tourist is a person who spends time away from home in the pursuit of recreation, relaxation and pleasure while making use of the commercial provision of services.

In these modern times, Tourism has grown drastically in Ghana in particular and Africa as a whole. It has become more interesting, fun, exciting and educative.

In 2015 the number of arrivals was reported at 897,000 according to the World Bank collection of development indicators. This has enhanced businesses, created opportunities and networking thereby leading to an exponential growth of the economy.

The Ghana Tourism Authority continues to contribute its quota to the Tourism industry. The function of G.T.A is to ensure sustainable tourism development through the creation of an enabling environment for the provision of quality tourism services and products.

In view of this, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority have participated in local and international fairs and exhibitions, conferences, seminars, etc to promote the culture and heritage of Ghana thereby marketing and promoting the country.

Tourism in Ghana is educational. One will ask why the need to travel to Ghana? Well, it is the best place for a cultural holiday in Africa. It is also one of the best option one can choose, not only for the fun but also to learn more about the history of the country, the culture of the people among other things.

There is no doubt that Ghana is one of the favourite countries to visit in the world. The tourist sites and attractions, cuisine, warmth and rhythm is unique. Ghana stands at the centre of the world, with the Greenwich Meridian passing through at Tema and thus making it a beacon of tourism within Sub-Saharan Africa.

Comparing Tourism after independence till date has moved from not only visiting and watching but undertaking tourism projects and development that inure to the benefit of communities and the industry as a whole. The influx of social media has also helped the tourism industry in so many diverse ways.

This is evident of the fact that the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman is championing the move to digital marketing which has helped the tourism industry to achieve its goals of increasing tourist arrivals and receipts.

It is by dint of his hard work, dedication and commitment that he was awarded the Outstanding Industry Personality (Gold) at the Africa Digital Heroes Awards ceremony held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja recently.

Again, Tourism in Ghana has helped in networking and creating jobs. One thing Ghana is proud of is the fact that we are the first African to commemorate the 400 anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans from Jamestown, Accra to Jamestown in Virginia in the United States of America in 1619. Ghana is the best place to be recommended as a tourist country due to our stable democratic dispensation, peaceful and harmonious co-existence of the different religious and ethnic groups.

Ghana can again confidently boast of multiple tourist sites like waterfalls, national parks, mountain peaks, monkey sanctuaries, canopy walkways and caves. These tourist attractions are very hospitable and make holidays memorable.

The Ghana Tourism Authority is poised in ensuring best practices within the Tourism and Hospitality industry in Ghana in order to continue enjoying the accolade as the most preferred tourist destination in Africa. It is no wonder the Authority has maintained our Tourism slogan; Ghana, Culture, Warmth and Rythm.

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