GHANA yesterday joined the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to celebrate World Tourism Day on the theme: “One billion tourists, one billion opportunities”.
The event is observed every year in recognition of the prospects of the tourism industry to global economy.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the sector minister, urged Ghanaians and members across the globe to consider tourism as a capacity building and poverty reduction tool.
“Let us all turn the power of “one billion tourists, one billion opportunities” to building the capacity that will lift our people from poverty, promote gender empowerment and help protect the environment.”
“My ministry is committed and determined to use tourism, culture and creative arts as a vital tool for achieving positive change in communities across the length and breadth of our dear nation Ghana,” she said.
The statement said in 2014, the sector held its position as the fourth highest foreign exchange earner.
Notwithstanding this enviable record, tourism created about 101,000 direct jobs of the 354,000 jobs in both formal and informal sector.
Similarly, international arrivals fetched the country US$ 2.1 billion in 2014, an increase of 10 per cent over the 2013 figure of US$1.9 billion.
The statement said that tourist arrivals also increased from the 2013 figure of 99,600 to 1,093,000 in 2014.
The government, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts is spearheading a number of programmes to improve the industry, some of which include the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Conference and launching of Explore Ghana Domestic Tourism Programme.
The domestic tourism programme offers tourists the opportunity to visit sites in the country.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the sector minister also toured Brong-Ahafo, Ashanti and Northern regions as part of the initiative to enhance the potentials of the industry.
By Times Reporter