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Business News of Thursday, 26 August 2021

Source: GNA

Tour Operators to support Ghana's domestic tourism revival

Madam Alisa Osei-Asamoah, President Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) Madam Alisa Osei-Asamoah, President Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA)

Madam Alisa Osei-Asamoah, President Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), has said the union would continue to wholeheartedly embrace and partner stakeholders in rolling out programmes to benefit the domestic tourism agenda.

She said, as a body whose overall mandate was to take people to experience and enjoy Ghana's attractions, they would continue to shoulder the responsibility to realize the greater goal of driving at least one million Ghanaians yearly to tourist sites as espoused by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.

"It is not lost on us what the attainment of this ambitious target could be to the socio-economic growth of the country."

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Monday in Accra, Madam Osei-Asamoah said the current Coronavirus pandemic had necessitated the need for members to focus on the domestic market for Ghana’s tourism growth.

She said, like most countries around the world, Ghana’s tourism received a heavy battering, following the onset of the pandemic.

“Just when the sector was set to see a turnaround with the highly successful ‘Year of Return,’ the advent of Coronavirus, which in most cases, halted travel across countries and continents, unfortunately, rolled back the numbers and receipts.”

She noted that since then it had become necessary for the government to introduce measures to cushion operators and industry players, who were at the receiving end of the harsh realities of the pandemic on the tourism sector.

"In addition, the government has had to find ways of ensuring continuity of Ghana’s tourism industry which has ultimately shifted attention to domestic tourism."

Madam Osei-Asamoah said the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) had found several innovative and creative ways of selling Ghana to its citizens to promote and increase local travels to the many tourist attractions spread across the country.

"The latest and current initiative, #ExperienceGhana #ShareGhana is a rallying call on all citizens to see the beautiful land of warmth, culture and rhythm. The acquisition of the double-decker coach for city tours is already adding to the enthusiasm that has so far characterized the launch of the new campaign."

She said the tour operators were proud to be lending support to the implementation of such noble initiatives and they would continue to support stakeholders in rolling out such programmes for the benefit of the domestic tourism sector.
"Since November last year, TOUGHA has embarked on tours to the Ashanti, Eastern and Central regions to update members of the current state of tourist sites in these areas. In doing so, the Union has also got to know less-known yet exciting sites that could be incorporated in our tour packages.

Madam Osei-Asamoah said they were resolved to organise the tours until they explore all 16 regions of Ghana.

"Beyond this, we feel particularly happy to be engaging the Ministry, GTA and other relevant agencies to put together tour packages at reduced and competitive rates for all and sundry."

She urged all sister tourism trade associations to come up with initiatives to drive and deepen domestic tourism.

"We are of the firm belief that domestic tourism is the cornerstone to building the resilience that the tourism industry has always been known for and we will continue to play our part in ensuring that Ghana becomes a preferred destination for her citizens and visitors across the world.”