The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has urged Ghanaian residents in the United States of America (USA) to champion the drive to increase international tourism to Ghana by promoting tourism attractions in Ghana.
He said tourism assets such as forts and castles, rich and diversified culture, highlife music and ecotourism sites were some of Ghana’s unique attractions which should be promoted and marketed to the international community.
Dr Awal made the call when he addressed a gathering of Ghanaians at this year’s GhanaFest held in Chicago at the weekend.
The two-day festival which was organised by the Ghana National Council (GNC) of Chicago, aims at celebrating and promoting Ghana’s cultural heritage through music, dance, food and clothing.
It also aims at forging unity among the various Ghanaian ethic groups in Chicago and the USA in general.
DrAwal stated that the government had prioritise the development of tourism , arts and culture as tools for economic transformation and wealth creation and entreated the people to continue to live in peace and harmony.
He said tourists from the USA accounted for over 60 per cent of all international arrivals to Ghana and stressed the need for all stakeholders to champion efforts at increasing tourism traffic to Ghana.
The Minister mentioned that some major tourist sites including the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park were being rehabilitated and modernised to make them attractive.
Dr Awal added that as Ghanaian citizens resident in the USA strive for excellence outside Ghana, it was relevant for them to remain resolute in their support for government efforts to build a strong and equitable socio-economic environment.
He said it behooves on all Ghanaians in the diaspora to make it a deliberate effort to visit Ghana, explore the numerous investment opportunities available and establish themselves to enable them create jobs for the teaming youth.
Ghana’s Ambassador to the USA, Hajia Alima Mahama, said the Ghana mission would soon engage the services of an Honorary Consul for Chicago to assist in enhancing consular services in the Chicago area.
She commended Ghanaian residents for being law abiding and urged them to continue to promote the interest of Ghana in their daily activities.
The Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Mr Kennedy Agyapong advised the people to take advantage of the numerous business opportunities in Ghana to establish businesses which would help develop the Ghanaian economy and create jobs for the youth.
He entreated entrepreneurs not to be deterred by the challenges associated with establishing new businesses, adding that, perseverance was a vital ingredient for the success of any business enterprise.
The President of the Ghana National Council, Mr. PaaKwasi Sam said one of the successes achieved by the Council was the free monthly healthcare services for its members and lauded the healthcare providers for their spirit of volunteerism.
He praised the pioneers of the GhanaFest event adding that the festival which began 34 years ago was the most outstanding African cultural exposition in the diaspora.