The Ghana Tourism Development Project has organised a sensitisation workshop for tourism destinations in the Western, Western North and Central regions on how to access the 3rdPhase of a US$10 million Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) Grant in Takoradi.
The grant was targeted at stakeholders within the Tourism, Arts and Culture value chain who contributed to the growth of the industry in the country.
The grant will be disbursed in three categories: the Site Upgrade Grants (SUGs), Small and Medium Enterprises Grants (SMEG) and COVID-19 Relief Grant.
The relevant stakeholders include tour operators, hoteliers, restaurants/food service operators, tourist site owners/operators, tourism related transport operators, arts and craft and the entertainment industry.
The US$10 million grant would be disbursed to COVID-19 Response Grants (CRGs), which was targeted at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) for existing viable businesses with well-developed business plan, and Site Upgrade Grant (SUGs) was to develop developing tourist sites and destinations.
The GTDP was a US$40 million World Bank approved grant to the Government of Ghana under the International Development Association credit targeted at specific tourism, arts and culture destinations in the country.
The Technical Advisor at GTDP, Prof. Gabriel Eshun, told participants that government wanted to make sure that tourism brought in the needed income to boost the economy, so those who would apply and get the grant must use the money to improve their sites, hotels and whatever tourism field they were.
He said before cocoa, timber and minerals became the major foreign exchange earner, tourism was the main income earner of most countries, so Ghanaians must work hard to make the country the best destination for tourists tovisit.
He said proposals must show that applicants were capable of executing what they told the committee because the committee would go round for inspection and auditing.
Prof. Eshun said 60 per cent of the US$10 million grant would be allocated to women because they were known to be good managers who would improve their lot and the country at large, and there were more women in the industry than men.
The Chief Executive Officer of the authority, Mr Kwadwo Antwi, disclosed that the tourism industry had suffered a great set back from the COVID-19 pandemic so government sought funding to revitalise the industry.
He said there was the great need to develop the tourism sector because there was enough income to derive from tourists who visited the country because Ghana had many attractive touristsites spread across the country.
FROM PETER GBAMBILA, TAKORADI