UER marks World Tourism Day

The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Henry Yeledour, has given the assurance that some tourist sites in the region will soon receive major redevelopment to attract more tourists to boost the sector.

Mr Yeledour gave the assurance on a sideline interview with Ghanaian Times during the 2019 World Tourism Day celebration held at Paga in the Kassena-Nankana West District last Friday

He disclosed that the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts through the Ghana Tourism Development Authority had secured funding from the World Bank and the final assessment of the identified sites has been done with work to commence soon.

This year’s World Tourism Day was commemorated on the theme, “Tourism and jobs, a better future for all” and brought together major stakeholders in the industry including the Ghana Hotels Association, Traditional Caterers Association as well as students with the Department of Hotels, Catering and Institutional Management of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic.

As part of the events for the celebration, the team undertook an excursion to the chief and Zenga Crocodile ponds at Paga and and undertook a cleanup exercise.

The Upper East Region is undoubtedly endowed with beautiful sceneries, and hospitality facilities keep on increasing, however, over the years they have been faced with lots of challenges including infrastructure and bad road network linking these sites.

The Regional Director mentioned the Zenga Crocodile Pond, Pikworo Slave Camp and the Tongo Hills and Tengzu Shrine among some of the sites in the region that had been earmarked for major rehabilitation.

He mentioned major desilting of the crocodile ponds, construction of walkways with pavilions, landscaping, minimise fencing as well as the building of a Tourism Information Office as some of the major works that would be done on the tourist sites.

“As soon as the rains subside, work on the projects will start,” the Regional Director gave the assurance.

Mr Yeledour stated that the tourism sector remains the fourth foreign exchange earner of the country and indicated that majority of youth are employed in the sector, adding that, “the redevelopment process will help create more job opportunities to the teaming unemployed youth.”

This, he stated, would enable them to contribute significantly to sustainable national development, thereby reducing poverty and improving livelihoods especially among the poor rural communities.

He disclosed that the hospitality industry in the region was growing at a faster pace and his outfit was committed to ensuring that all hospitality operators complied with the regulations, especially making the facilities accessible to all including persons with disabilities.

The chairman of the Ghana Hotels Association, in charge of the Upper East Regional Chapter, Mr Ambrose Kasser Tee, indicated that the hospitality industry was improving steadily as a result of major development projects being undertaken in the region.

He, however, stressed that the sector was faced with huge taxes and levies and said each hotel operator is being taxed and levied so much that this has reduced the income levels of hotel owners and some have even closed down.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, PAGA 

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