Cabinet approves Tourism Bill
Posted on: 2010-Aug-13        Joy fm
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Cabinet has given approval to the Tourism Bill, which, when operational will lead to the establishment of a National Tourism Authority to regulate the tourism industry.

When passed by parliament it will be the first comprehensive law on tourism and will give a major boost to the development of the sector to enable it play a more meaningful role in the national economy.

Giving details of the Bill the minister said the National Tourism Authority will provide better coordination among partner agencies in the sector, and lead the development of infrastructure to make the industry more competitive and attractive.

Currently, the policy implementing agency in the tourism structure is the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) which provides coordination and regulation, as well as marketing, research, registration and licensing. In addition, there is also the Ghana Tourist Development Company, an autonomous quasi-public entity which is the tourism development and investment wing of the sector Ministry.

But, according to the Bill, this structure is incompatible with modern tourism requirements and international practice.

“It is to address present weaknesses in the collaboration among Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and private sector organisations towards achieving sustainable growth of the industry”, Tourism Minister, Mrs Zita Okaikoi said.

As a supervisory body, the Authority will support Regional Tourism Boards and District Tourism Committees that would be set up to effectively develop and manage tourism sites across the regions, and properly regulate tourism enterprises.

The Bill also intends to establish a Tourism Development Fund to provide adequate funding for the many tourism projects that would be initiated across the country.

With Cabinet’s approval, the Bill will soon be laid before Parliament for approval and Mrs. Okaikoi was optimistic that parliament would also give its nod in good time for the implementation process to commence.