Tourism Ministry targets 1.2m tourist arrivals in 2023
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture says it has set a target of 1.2 million for tourist arrivals this year.
The sector minister, Dr Mohammed Awal who disclosed this said, the target would be in line with attaining the broad policy objectives of diversifying and expanding the industry for economic development and developing a competitive creative arts industry as stated in its medium term national development policy framework 2023 to 2025.
Dr Awal was speaking at the launch of the 50th Anniversary celebrations and the 2022 tourism report of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
He said the sector was expected to generate not more than 3.4 billion dollars tourist receipts in 2023 and create about 150, 000 jobs for the teeming youth.
“Tourism is not just about hotels, food, music, leisure or entertainment but it’s about business to drive socio-economic growh and development,” he added.
The Minister indicated that the sector also aimed to train about 6,000 people in the tourism value chain to improve quality of service in the industry.
“Quality attracts good things and so if you have quality in the sector, it would attract more tourists to increase our revenue,” he said.
Dr Awal said as part of effort to make tourism the number one contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) it had put in place some structures and measures to create a conducive atmosphere for tourism to thrive.
He said with the right policies and interventions, tourism could be harnessed to become a top foreign exchange earner for the country and further contribute to ensure sustainable development in the country.
In that regard, the minister said, the sector had targeted about 2 million tourists arrivals in 2025 in the medium term, which would eventually generate not more than 5.2 billion dollars tourist receipts.
“Tourism will take over the mining, cocoa, oil and gas industry interns of GDP growth through tourists visits and jobs. The World Travel and Tourism Council states that, three out of every 10 jobs comes from the tourism sector,” he added.
He urged staff of GTA to acquire critical skills to meet the challenges in the tourism sector and to be able to solve them to raise revenue for the sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman said the Authority was committed to promoting Ghana as a top tourist destination, and to improve the regulatory environment for the tourism industry, to ensure that operators were able to provide high-quality services to visitors, whiles adhering to the highest standards of safety and security.
“In 2022, we continued the licensing of Event Organisers Event Centers and Tour Guides. We will work closely with the private sector to identify areas where regulatory reforms are necessary,” he added.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR