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Business News of Friday, 5 July 2013

Source: B&FT

Jordan seeks tourism alliance with Ghana

The Jordanian Tourism Authority is seeking to engage the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in fashioning out ways of improving tourism and cross-country cultural exchanges for the mutual benefit of the two countries.

“The Jordanian Tourism Authority is talking to the Ghana Tourism Authority, and very soon we will have some officials of the GTA visit Jordan and vice versa.

Travel and tour operators in Jordan will also visit Ghana and their Ghanaian counterparts will visit Jordan,” Mr. Amir Nosrati, the Country and Airport Manager of Royal Jordanian Airlines, the flag-carrier of Jordan, told the B&FT in an interview at the Kotoka International Airport.

“There is very good business starting now between Ghana and Jordan. We have some companies and businessmen in Ghana, so we would like to send our national carrier and Jordanian flag to be in Ghana. And we want to let the Ghanaian people know what Jordan is, what the Middle East is and what is the Holy Land.”

Touching on the tourist attractions in his country, Mr. Nosrati said: “Jordan is famous for many things. Religious people in Ghana can go for their baptism in River Jordan, where Jesus was baptised. Tourists can also visit the Dead Sea, which is 400 metres below sea-level and is the lowest point on earth. Dead Sea mud and water is good for many skin diseases.”

In January, this year, Ghana was named among the 10 most ethical destinations in the world on a list put together by the non-profit Ethical Traveller based in San Francisco. Ghana ranked fourth behind Barbados, Cape Verde and Costa Rica in the annual guide to the world’s best ethical destinations in the developing world. Other countries that made the list were Latvia, Lithuania, Mauritius, Palau, Samoa and Uruguay.

These 10 countries scored highest in three main areas: social welfare, measured by indicators such as child mortality rates, economic freedom and crime rates; environmental protection, measured by an academic index and share of protected area; and human rights, which includes press and political freedoms.

Government in this years’ budget did indicate that it will pursue an “aggressive promotion of Ghana and re-packaging of the diverse tourism products for higher international and domestic patronage”.

It said it will construct seven Tourist Receptive Facilities at Salaga, Gwollu, Axim, Kpetoe, Agogo and Wli this year to enhance tourist sites, create employment and generate revenue.

In 2011 there were over 50.17 million international tourist arrivals to Africa, an increase of 0.9 percent over 2010 according to the World Tourism Organisation.

The top-ten African destinations included Morocco, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Nigeria. Ghana, with its arrivals of 0.9 million, did not make the list.