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Regional News of Thursday, 30 August 2007

Source: GNA

Tourism gives enormous opportunities to women - Osei Ameyaw

Accra, Aug. 30, GNA - Mr Kofi Osei Ameyaw, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, on Wednesday noted that the tourism industry provided enormous opportunities for the advancement of women in terms of supporting child development and breaking the poverty cycle. He explained that according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the tourism sector employed more women and young people than most industries and thus helped in enhancing the economic status of women.

Mr Osei Ameyaw was speaking at the launch of this year's World Tourism Day, which is celebrated on September 27 every year. The celebration is on the theme: "Tourism Opens Doors for Women." World Tourism Day is celebrated to create awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its socio-cultural, political and economic values. The celebration is also used to promote domestic tourism, while creating awareness about the contributions of tourism towards wealth creation and poverty reduction in the local communities and the national economy.

Mr Osei Ameyaw, giving statistics about women employed in the tourism sector, said 44 per cent of women were directly and indirectly employed in the sector.

He said this year's celebration would be used as a platform to showcase women's achievements in the tourism sector. A special addition to this year's event would be a long-term campaign highlighting one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the contribution of sustainable tourism to its fulfilment. Mr Osei Ameyaw expressed the hope that the campaign on the MDGs would further stimulate continuous action for the promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and poverty reduction. He announced that a series of programmes and activities would be organized at both regional and national levels to create awareness about the event, including local and domestic tours to tourist sites in the various regions as well as organizing tourism bazaars and fairs. A three-day national exhibition, which would see the participation of women groups and individuals in tourism and hospitality services, arts and crafts and fashion, would climax the celebrations. "We have a collective responsibility to make tourism a viable tool for wealth creation, poverty reduction and environmental conservation in a sustainable manner," Mr Osei Ameyaw said.

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