GTB to sensitize financial institutions
 
Posted on: 2009-Dec-23        GNA
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The Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) is to organise a national investment forum on tourism in Accra early next year.

The forum will bring financial institutions together and sensitize them on the need to support tourism projects to promote the growth of the industry.

Mr Julius Debrah, Executive Director of GTB, who disclosed this, said the Board was currently doing the ground work and would soon announce the date for the forum.

Addressing tourism trade associations in Sunyani on Tuesday, he noted that tourism facilities were capital intensive and the high interest rate deterred those in the industry to borrow from financial institutions.

The executive director, who is on a nation-wide familiarization tour, stressed that the private sector played a critical role in promoting international and domestic tourism and prayed for the success of the forum.

Mr Debrah said the Chinese Government had endorsed Ghana as one of its tourist destination countries and the Ghana Embassy in Beijing had developed brochures to portray tourist attraction centres in the country.

He advised those in the industry who had not registered for the relevant licenses to do so to be recognized.

Mr Francis Tapena, Acting Brong-Ahafo Regional Manager of the GTB, said tourism facilities were widespread in the region and there were 84 licensed hotels and restaurants.

He said 200 operators in the informal sector had also obtained licence and mentioned the Tano Sacred Grove, Fulla Falls, Kintampo Water Falls, Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Oforikrom Shrine, Bouyem Graves as well as the Bono Manso Slave Market as some of the tourist sites in the region.

Mr Tapena said quality assurance service was the major challenge that faced the industry in the region.

Most of the participants, in an open forum, mentioned multiple payments of tax as the main challenge that hindered the growth of their businesses.