Gov’t nears 5-yr tourism development plan

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The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare has said that the Ministry was close to unveiling a five-year development plan, which could be the blueprint to transform the sector in the medium term.

She said the plan has been formulated to incorporate various strategic actions to transform the tourism industry to be one of the leading sectors of the economy.

“All major stakeholders of the industry, particularly, the tourism private sector, will jointly own the plan and drive it,” she added.

Mrs. Agyare said this when he joined patrons and staff of Sunlodge Hotel in Tesano, Accra to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the hotel.

Currently, there are concerns that Ghana is slowly ceding its tourism market to neighbours due to high Visa fees and hotel rates.

Poor infrastructure, low investment and lack of coordination among various stakeholders have also conspired to throttle development of the sector, seen as an important source of foreign exchange revenues.

Nonetheless, the World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC) has predicted Ghana’s tourism sector to grow by 9.7 per cent this year, more than the forecasted national economic growth of 7.1%.

The World Tourism Council, which pegged the tourism industry growth at 6.7% last year is confident the industry will grow by an average of 4.5 per cent in the next decade on the back of a strong government’s backed development programme.

Mrs. Agyare urged operators in the tourism industry in the country to collect and pay the tourism development levy toward the Tourism Development Fund, which aims at providing funding for tourism and tourism-related projects.

The Minister commended the management of Sunlodge for their hard work in developing and maintaining an indigenous facility as well as their contribution to the development and growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in Ghana.

“From a humble beginning of eight rooms to 52 rooms, seven conference facilities, and well-appointed restaurant and swimming pool is no mean achievement. This achievement can be made only through vision, foresight, passion, commitment, dedication, staff motivation and recognition and excellent relations with clients as well as quality service delivery – Sunlodge hotel has indeed made it,” she said.

source : B&FT