Govt to build commercial tourist airports

Government plans to build more airports in the Western and Central regions to create an enabling environment for tourism and business to thrive, Kobby Okyere Darko-Mensah, Deputy Minister of Aviation, has said.

The Deputy Minister said this in Takoradi at the Western Regional Tourism awards for 2017, which was themed: “Promoting Responsible Tourism”.

Mr Darko-Mensah, who chaired the function, said 7.1 per cent of the working population was employed in the tourism industry, adding that tourism currently contributed more revenue to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than mining.

Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, the Marketing Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), said plans were advanced to look at the product levels of three tourist sites in the Western Region namely, Ankasa Forest Reserve, Nzulezo Paa Grant and Fort Anthonio.

He urged district assemblies to partner government agencies to boost tourism and make the nation a preferred tourist destination.

He said it was the plan of the GTA to boost the industry by absorbing 4 million people countrywide by 2027 and maintained that the awards would push all partners in the hospitality industry to strive for excellence to sustain the industry

The Acting Western Regional Manager for Tourism, Michael Kpingbi said it was prudent to recognize the efforts of individuals and corporate entities for promoting tourism in a responsible manner.

Dr Kwaku Afriyie, Western Regional Minister, in a speech read on his behalf, said it is incumbent upon the government and the local people to protect and preserve tourism sites to position Ghana as a preferred tourist destination.

Jonamas Tours was adjudged the Tour Operating Agency of the year 2017 with the four Star Hotel award going to Best Western Plus Atlantic Hotel.

The Best Tourism Programme of the year 2017 award went to Asabaako Festival with the New Moon Lodge receiving an award for consistency in the payment of the 1 per cent tourism levy collection.

The Ankobra Beach Resort also received an award for corporate social responsibility with the Raybow Hotel being honoured for fulfillment of Sanitation and Environmental standards among others.

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