PMetropolitan, municipal and district assemblies have been urged to provide tourism enterprises with incentives to enable them remain competitive in business.
The Acting Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in the Tema Region, Mr Charles Buabin, who made the call on Friday, suggested that assemblies grant tourism enterprises exemptions for the erection of signage and directional signs and tax exemption for employing the youth in their catchment areas.
Mr Buabin was speaking at the 2018 Tema Regional tourism awards ceremony at which 23 facilities in the tourism and hospitality industry were honoured for excellence.
It was under the theme: ‘Celebrating our heritage’.
At the same event the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, Ada East District Assembly, Nero Natural Mineral Water and a legendary musician, Alfred B. Crentsil received honorary awards for their support to tourism in the area.
New Times Corporation was awarded tourism oriented media for 2018.
Mr Buabin appealed to assemblies to include roads leading to hospitality facilities to priority roads that are regularly maintained.
“Let us improve the cleanliness of our surroundings, beaches and enterprises to bring back the glory days of Tema and attract more visitors,” he said.
Mr Buabin said the hospitality sector in the region experienced 10 per cent growth in 2018 with hotels increasing from 247 to 281.
He however advised players in the sector to consider forming partnerships and alliances to promote their facilities in spite of the challenge of multiple levies.
The Tema region boasts of numerous tourist attractions such as sandy beaches, wildlife, salt mining, water sport, the Greenwich Meridian Line, glorious historical heritage and beautiful cultural festivals.
In a speech read for him the Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, advised practitioners in the tourism industry to position themselves to receive over 500,000 visitors from the diaspora and other parts of the world this year (Year of Return) and to raise the bar by delivering quality service to meet the standards.
GTA has declared 2019 Year of Return to mark the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in the United States.
The declaration is in line with an Act passed by the US congress, Act H. R. 1242-400 years of African-American Experience Act.
Mr. Agyeman said, “Not only is the Year of Return a historically significant milestone, it also represents a unique opportunity for Ghana to cement its Pan African leadership.”
He noted that the See, Eat, Wear and Feel Ghana campaign launched in 2017 had increased tourism traffic both domestically and internationally.
A member of the Awards Jury, Mr Ricky Adom, advised facility owners to address concerns raised by clients, exceed their expectations and always wear a smiling face to attract repeat business.
Caption for pictures
IMG 093306: Rev. Jonathan Osei (right), National Secretary of Ghana Progressive Hotels Association presenting the award to Ms Diana W. Abban of New Times Corporation Tema Office.
IMG 093347: Nana Twum Barima I (right), Manager, National Destination Tourism Single Window Project- GTA, presenting the 3-star Hotel of the Year award to a staff of Royal Nick
IMG 093240: Mr. Alex Boakye (right), Director, Standards and Quality Assurance- GTA, presenting Restaurant of the Year grade 1 award to Esinam Quist, a staff of Agbamami Restaurant.
FROM GODFRED BLAY GIBBAH, TEMA