The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) at the weekend outlined a number of policy measures that it will undertake next year, to serve as tourist attractions, job creation and revenue mobilisation for the country.
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed, the Tourism Minister, said as one of the initiatives, the government would establish a heroes park to honour the Big Six of Ghana.
The construction of the park, he said, would be done in Accra.
Disclosing these during a capacity building workshop organised by the ministry for some selected journalists drawn from Accra, Eastern, Volta and Oti regions, Thursday at Koforidua in the Eastern Region, he emphasised that these efforts by the Ministry is to support economic development and to create job opportunities for the citizenry.
“That’s why we’re spending a lot of money to renovate and modernise our attractions. Kwame Nkrumah Park was not in good shape. But thanks to President Akufo-Addo, today it is one of the most modernised tourist attractions in West Africa,” he added, saying, the park now generates about GH¢1.1m a month whereas the National Museum which was also renovated makes about GH¢300,000 contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Beside the parks, he said the ministry was also determined to build museums, forts as well as five amphitheatres across the country next year.
“We’ve started Kumasi, Accra for the amphitheatres and we will start Tamale very soon as well as Takoradi and Tema. And this is going to create opportunity for the creative arts industry and create jobs for them as well,” he added.
Dr Awal said the ministry had targeted to create 150,000 direct jobs every year in the tourism space and to achieve the target, it was expecting 1.2 million international tourist arrivals and 1.2 million domestic tourism this year.
Each tourist he said spends an average of US$3,000 a month which would eventually generate $3.6bn in terms of international tourism receipts this year.
“And that’s certainly going to create jobs for a lot of people. Because when the tourists come they stay in hotels, use transport, buy food, and shop among others within their seven days’ stay. But our plan is that as we modernise the tourist attractions, add more tourist facilities, we want the tourists to spend about 14 days where they can spend more money,” he said.
The Ghanaian Times’ focus is on the job creation and we highly commend the Tourism Minister for this and other initiatives he and the ministry are pursuing in the industry which we think deserve the support and encouragement of every Ghanaian.
We all know the contribution of tourism to our national economy and it is to the credit of the government that the ministry is doing all it can to create more job opportunities for the teeming youth, even as it strives to generate revenue for the country.
It is public knowledge that unemployment is very high and has become a national concern but if all sectors would initiate projects such as the Tourism Ministry is engaged in, the unemployment burden would be reduced considerably.
It is for this reason that, we would like to urge other institutions to take a cue from the Tourism Ministry and to partner the private sector to create job opportunities for the people.
We no doubt think that the minister and the ministry deserve commendations for their efforts in tourist attractions, job creation and revenue mobilisation for the country.