The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in the Eastern Region in collaboration with the Okere District Assembly has planted 500 tree seedlings at the Asenema Water Falls in Okere last Friday, to mark this year’s United Nations World Tourism Day (UNWTD).
Tree seedlings such as Rosewood, Mahogany and Prekese and other ornamental seedlings were planted to promote domestic tourism.
Speaking during the exercise, the Eastern Regional Manager of the GTA, Mr Fredrick Adjei-Rudolph noted that the UNWTO had set aside every September 27 to celebrate Tourism Day, to herald the socio-economic, political and cultural importance of the sector to national and international economies through Gross Domestic Product growth, jobs and employment creation.
He said this year’s theme “Tourism for inclusive growth” was chosen to essentially highlight a participatory approach to creating and sharing tourism wealth for poverty reduction, decent living standards and livelihood security.
Mr Adjei-Rudolph revealed that to climax the celebration in the region, the Okere District was chosen for the tree planting exercise because it epitomised the theme for this year, due to its greenery and several tourist sites which needed to be harnessed.
“The tree planting exercise at the Asenema Waterfalls was part of ways to develop one of Ghana’s finest tourist centres into an attractive greenery environment where people can patronise and as they do, the local people benefit from the domestic tourism.”
The Eastern Region GTA manager stated that to revive the tourism industry and make the tourism growth agenda relevant and meaningful, there was the need to develop the region’s tourists sites to attract both local, and international tourists for the benefits of the local people who would acquire jobs at the sites, adding that the country’s economy would also be boosted.
For his part, the District Chief Executive of Okere, Mr Daniel Kenneth Addo, was grateful to the GTA and the Forestry Commission for collaborating with the assembly to organise the tree planting exercise to mark the UNWTO.
He stated that the tree planting exercise would beautify the Asenema Waterfalls with trees that would make it attractive to both local and foreign tourists, adding it would promote domestic tourism for the country’s economic growth.
“The President recently launched the Green Ghana Campaign and as an assembly we are obliged to follow, hence this exercise is appropriate to back the President’s initiative and we are grateful to be chosen for the exercise,” he said.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Seth Acheampong, who graced the occasion, noted that the tree planting exercise to mark the celebration of the UNWTO was another step of greening the country as the President has initiated, adding that it would provide shade for tourists as well as provide medicinal values.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDUA