The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal yesterday inaugurated the Public, Private, Partnership Forum (PPPF) standing committee with a call on them to help drive the tourism industry.
The 10-member committee comprised of Akwasi Agyeman, chairman, Naa Ashiorkor Otoo, secretary, Isaac Asiam, Madam Josephine Ohene Osei, Dr. Geoffery Deladem Tamakloe, Kwesi Eyison, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike, Seth Ocran, Kwadwo Odame Antwi and Professor Kweku Boakye, as members.
At a brief inaugural ceremony in Accra, the Minister, Dr Awal led the committee members to swear the oath of office and secrecy and urged them to initiate strategies to help build the tourism industry.
He said the ministry was determined to create about 250,000 jobs every year for the tourism sector, adding that “This cannot be done if we don’t take opportunities in this pandemic to initiate measures to drive investments into the sector.”
“As at now international arrivals have increase at the last quarter of October 30, to 412,000 from 200,000 last year representing 37 percent increase. So by December we will have double the figure which means that we are bouncing back. Domestic tourism has also improved from 200,000 to 300, 000. We have to do much more to get people,” he stated.
He said government was committed to improve tourist attractions in the country, stating that, the ministry had engaged consultants to design a concept for a comprehensive rehabilitation of the entire Kwame Nkrumah Memorial park and mausoleum.
The park he said would be completed within a year which would include an administrative block, a memorabilia shop, restaurants and a library to generate revenue for the tourism sector.
“That building should give us minimum of GHC2million every year. The highest we made was GHC 600, 000 in 2019. We want to make minimum of GHC2million which will give us about 86 jobs every year in addition to the existing ones which will give us about 115 jobs,” he stated.
Dr Awal expressed government’s commitment to supporting the industry and urged the public to pay their taxes to help achieve the aim.
The President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Mrs Bella Ahu recommended that, government set aside a fund to help tackle pandemic outbreaks in the country.
She suggested that, the fund be generated from the existing levy and be backed by legislation so that the government does not suffer in terms of pandemic outbreaks.
Dr Ackah-Nyamike who spoke on behalf of the chairman and the committee expressed gratitude to the President and the minister for the honour reposed in them and pledged to contribute their quota to promote the sector.
BY VIVIAN ARTHU