The Upper West Regional capital, Wa, was the home for the celebration of the 2022 World Tourism Day in Ghana on Tuesday as stakeholders joined patriots in the region to commemorate the day with a call on Ghanaians to patronise the country’s tourist sites.
The purpose of the yearly celebration was to raise awareness and the important role tourism plays within the world and the enormous socio-cultural, political, and economic impacts.
Speaking at the ceremony to mark the day, which had the theme – “Rethink Tourism” – Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, said this year has been one of the best for the tourism industry due to the swift recovery from the adverse effects of the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He mentioned that the transition was possible because of the general vaccination exercise which took place around the globe to help fight the pandemic.
He mentioned that Ghana was able to achieve an exemplary feat which ensured that the country was ranked first tourism destination in the West African sub region and third in Africa.
“Ghana has seen significant progress in arts, tourism and hospitality sector after the pandemic and a method by which Ghana can rethink tourism was through the adoption of technology to help enhance the tourism experience “, he said
The Deputy Minister underscored the importance of tourism to the economy and appealed to individuals across the region as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to invest more in the sector and also patronise the many tourist sites in the region.
He said the Ministry of Tourism was committed to sustainable and responsible tourism development and pledged the support of the ministry to promote tourism in the region.
He encouraged the public to take advantage of the numerous jobs tourism offered to help reduce unemployment in the country.
The Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih used the opportunity to commend the Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority for bringing this year’s celebration to the region.
He mentioned that tourism in the region had developed over the years, stating that sites such as the Wechiau community hippo sanctuary, Gwollu slave defense wall, Wa Naa palace, among others continued to attract tourists to the region.
He encouraged business owners and stakeholders within the tourism sector to partner with the assemblies and communities to drive domestic tourism, foster a culture of travel and attract tourists to the region.
Participants at the celebration included heads of departments, members of the Regional House of Chiefs and queen mothers, students and staff of other units under the Ghana Tourism Authority.
FROM RAFIA ABDUL RAZAK, WA