Position tourism to become lead contributor to economy – Dr Awal

The reconstituted Board of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has been inaugurated in Accra with a call on them to initiate innovative strategies to make the sector a lead contributor of revenue to the economy.

The 11-member board of GTA comprised Mr Charles Osei Bonsuas, Chairman, Mr   Akawsi Agyemang, Mr John Yao Agbeko, Madam Eva Esselba Mends, Mr Samuel Seth Passah, and Madam Fati Lily Soale.

Others are Mr Mohammed Abdul-Karim, Madam Cecilia Sheitu Nyadia, Mr Gbati Jacob Najombe, Mrs Dentaa Amoateng MBE and Madam Comfort Yamoah as members.

At a brief inaugural ceremony yesterday, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal who led the board members to swear the oath of office and secrecy said ‘the constitution and sustenance of high profile boards of this nature was mandatory and requirement of the Tourism Act 817 of 2011.’

He stressed that his expectation was to see members of the GTA initiate actions that would enable them implement the organisation’s approved scheme of services.

Some of these services, he stated, were marketing and promotion of domestic, regional and international tourism, tourism education and training, development of standards and guidelines for designs, use of tourist attractions and enterprises to reflect Ghanaian culture, among others.

Dr Awal noted that,the vision of the ministry was to make the tourism industry the number one contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product within the next two years.

He reiteratedthe ministry’s commitment to raise US$5billion each year from tourism receipts by 2022.

But, Dr Awal said this could be achieve if the board initiate measures to drive investments into the creative arts and culture sub-sectors.

“I have signed that contract with the President and the board must help me to achieve that,” he stated.

He urged the board to build the culture of travel within the country.

He said before the pandemic about 600,000 people were travelling within a year into the country and expressed optimism that progressively the sector could have one million people travelling every year.

Dr Awal charged the board to work as a team to achieve the aim of the ministry.

On behalf of the GTA, Mr Osei Bonsu thanked the President and the minister for the honour given and the opportunity to contribute their quota to the development of the country.

He said the tourism sector had the potential of influencing the development of the other sectors of the economy and pledged his outfit’s commitment to work assiduously to promote the sector.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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