The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), Mr Yoofi Grant has stated that the country’s tourism sector cannot develop in isolation, rather it requires the contribution of all partners.
He therefore urged the sector to engage stakeholders in order to grow.
Mr Grant gave the advice in Accra, on Thursday, at the National Tourism Awards 2021 held under the theme;“sustainable tourism growth, the role of the private sector.”
The event was aimed at rewarding excellence among industry players who have contributed to the development of tourism in the country.
According to Mr Grant, the idea of developing airports in all regional capitals was ideal, as it would help boost tourism in such regions.
He stated that tourism had been taken for granted and that given the right push, it would be the major contributor to the country’s economy.
He said tourism had evolvedwith culture being a major contributory factor, adding that “the key driver is our culture and it drives attraction tourism.”
The CEO of GIPC said tourism was an important aspect of the country’s economy and there was the need to leverage it to build the fortunes of the country.
He called on Ghanaians to patronise the country’s tourist sites, saying that “we can internally generate revenue for the sector,” and that government was working with the private sector to sustain tourism.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, MrMark OkrakuMantey said tourism in the country have made strives, despite the challenges of COVID-19.
He said the ministry was ready to play its part in government’s agenda of making tourism the primary contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In lieu of this, he mentioned that the ministry had renovated the national museum, facelift of the Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Aburi Gardens, Manhyia Palace Museum as well as other projects across the country.
MrMantey said it was the target of the ministry to train about 20,000 practitioners in customer service, adding, so far about 8,000 had already trained.
“It is our call now to sustain the growth and successes chalked over the years to create a far more attractive home for tourism boost and economic growth,” he said.
He stated that government would continue to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, adding that, the tourism industry was not excluded.
Forthe awards, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alisa Hotels,Mr Kwame OfosuBamfo was adjudged the tourism personality of the year.
Kempinski Hotel was adjudged the best five star hotel in Ghana with Tang palace wining the best four star, Aqua Safari Resort, Ada emerged the best three star, Airport View, two star and Golden Hill Parker Hotel in Elmina received the best one star hotel.
Other award categories include the best guest house, budget hotel, serviced apartments, restaurants, fast foods, drinking bars, traditional catering (chop bar),night club, pub, tour operator, travel agent, car rentals, site guide, tour guide and visitor attraction.
The rest were tourism writer of the year, tourism oriented media, excellence in promoting local cuisine, sustainability award and tourism programme.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU