Domestic tourism surges in Ashanti

•   Mrs.  Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Tourism Minister

• Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Tourism Minister

Domestic tourism has surged in the Ashanti Region, with the Kumasi Zoological Gardens alone generating revenue in excess of GH¢137,000.00, last two years.

There were 67, 544 visitors to the zoo during the period compared with the previous year’s figure of 57,721.

Ekow Sampson, Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), addressing a tourism awards ceremony in Kumasi described the increase in tourist arrivals as significant.

The zoo is one of the most visited wildlife facility in the West African sub-region and the home to some endangered animal species including lions, eagles, hyenas, elephants and snakes.

A Ghana News Agency (GNA), report said that the event was held to recognise those, who had made exceptional contribution to the growth of tourism in the region.

The award winners, totaling 32, were presented with certificates and citations.

Mr. Sampson said the GTA, in the year 2014, facilitated a tour of 53 tourist attraction sites by 78 groups.

It had in the preceding year aided the visit to 14 sites by 43 groups.

He spoke of the substantial rise in the number of hotels over the past 20 years, putting the growth rate at 453 per cent.

From the 1995 total of 111, there were now 503 hotels in the region, he added.

He used the occasion to remind facility operators to be more professional in their way of doing things.

That, he said, was important given the stepped-up effort by the GTA to promote culture and eco-tourism to support economic growth.

Mr. Sampson said there was no doubt that domestic tourism could tremendously help to accelerate socio-economic development of the nation if the sector was well-packaged.

He rallied all stakeholders to work together to make the sector more vibrant.

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