Government institutes national marketing strategy for tourism sector
 
Posted on: 2010-Jul-27        GNA
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The Mills led administration is putting in place a national marketing goal for the tourism sector since it is critical to the realisation of the Better Ghana Agenda, Mr John Tia Akologu, Minister of Information, said on Monday.

According to him, the tourism sector could potentially grow rapidly with improvements in the regulations and by creating an enabling environment, mentioning that the sector generated 1.6 billion dollars into the nation's foreign exchange purse in 2009.

Mr Akologu, who read a speech on behalf of President John Evans Atta-Mills, at the opening session of the First International Tourism Investment Forum, said the strategic geographical location of Ghana with excellent maritime and air transport access to the global market, made it a strategic transport hub for West Africa.

The International Tourism Investment Forum organised by the Ministry of Tourism with support from the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre.

It aims at attracting more investors to the Tourism Industry in Ghana.

The forum under the theme: "Ghana-Time to Explore: the Role of the Investor in the Tourism Sector", attracted hundreds of people whose businesses relate to the industry.

Mr Akologu said: "The democratic credentials of the country have obviously put Ghana in the tourism limelight and this makes the theme for the forum very realistic".

Emphasising the importance of the tourism sector to the economic growth of the country, the Information Minister said the sector continued to be one of the most important and fastest growing industries of the Ghanaian economy competing with other sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction and transport.

"It is a sector that has a potential to stimulate investment and growth in many other sectors," he stressed.

Referring to a hotel survey conducted in Ghana, Mr Akologu said business tourists activities in Accra constituted over half of international tourist arrivals and noted that business and conference tourism in Accra could be much larger than it was currently.

"Business tourism is not inherently pro-poor", he said, adding that there was always an important transfer of resources from the tourists to the poor in the community.

Requesting the investor community to pay attention to Ghana, Mr Akologu said the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre's Legislative Instrument sought to provide a generous incentives and tax holidays for private investors.

He therefore called on potential investors to consider venturing into the provision of hotel accommodation, construction of cable car facilities along the mountain ranges, operation of luxury coaches and domestic flights among other opportunities.

Mrs Sabah Zita Okaikoi, Minister of Tourism, said the forum provided a good platform to begin the journey of exploring the untapped and diverse tourism investment opportunities in Ghana.