President Akufo-Addo says his administration has placed tourism at the forefront of national development because of the sector’s economic and job creation potential.
According to President Akufo-Addo, it is estimated that by 2023, three (3) in every ten (10) jobs will be created by the tourism sector. To this end, President Akufo-Addo, says his administration in response to this projected development, has decided to make tourism a vanguard of national development.
Addressing attendees of the presidential summit on tourism under the theme, “Rethinking Tourism for Economic Growth and Job Creation” at the Peduase Lodge, today, 30 May 2023, President Akufo-Addo said a four-fold approach; “Preservation, Promotion, Policy Leadership and Partnership” will be requested to make the tourism sector a driving force for national development.
On the first approach which the president identified as preservation, he indicated that government and all stakeholders in the tourism sector “must preserve what we have [as a country]. We are the guardians of Ghana’s natural wonders and it is our responsibility to safeguard them for future generations,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Government and sector stakeholders in President Akufo-Addo’s view “must amplify Ghana’s unique [tourism] appeal on the global stage through strategic marketing campaigns, enhanced digital presence, and targeted investments in infrastructure”. President Akufo-Addo added that through this effort, the country “can showcase the diverse attractions [the] nation has to offer”.
“The private sector” President Akufo-Addo said “must show policy leadership in creating the right climate and platform for investments to grow” in the tourism sector.
“It is for this reason that government is prioritizing the e-visa regime, the homeland return act and the visa on arrival processes” President Akufo-Addo said.
President Akufo-Addo observed that “the tourism sector requires partnerships and a collaborative approach involving all stakeholders”. He therefore called on all the stakeholders present to “unite [their] efforts, share knowledge and pull resources”.
“Let us create a comprehensive framework that facilitates dialogue, cooperation and innovation. Together, we can develop sustainable tourism models, empower domestic entrepreneurs and ensure that the benefits of tourism reach every corner of our beloved country” President Akufo-Addo said.
“We are building a thriving tourism economy with many tourism sites currently undergoing improvements. We are determined to build a tourism economy where hospitality, acts and culture are used as tools to spare economic development” Akufo-Addo added.
World Bank support
The World Bank has been one of the main partners of the ministry for tourism, arts and culture in its efforts to enhance tourists’ sites in the country.
In that regard, President Akufo-Addo commended “highly the partnership between the ministry of tourism arts and culture and the country’s international partners, especially, the World Bank, leading to the revamping of a number of public and private tourists’ sites”.
“The country director should see to the expansion of the support of the financial envelope, a development we will warmly appreciate as we do the current assistance,” President Akufo-Addo said.
Best tourists destination
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, in his remarks noted that the tourism industry has started showing signs of recovery and growth after the devastating impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the sector.
He called on the sector players to support all the efforts of government aimed at making Ghana the tourism destination on the African continent.
“The first quarter of this year (2023) tourism numbers grew 47 % from 170,000 last year at this time to 247,000 arrivals. If each tourist spends $3,000.00 dollars, you can imagine how much it is.
“Our destination Ghana project is on course and I want assure all the stakeholders that we are not resting. We want you to give us (government) your support, partner us and we will make Ghana the choice for tourists,” Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said.
“Ghana is now the most attractive tourism destination in West Africa. Just two years ago, it was Gambia and Senegal, today we are number one. It was projected that this achievement will be done in 2026, however, under your (President Akufo-Addo) leadership, today, Ghana is the most sort after place for tourists. We will continue to do our best,” Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal added.