Tourism Ministry pursues aggressive tourism development agenda
 
Posted on: 2011-Apr-15        Joy fm
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The new Tourism Minister, Mrs Akua Sena Dansua, has unveiled ambitious plans to develop the tourism sector of the country’s economy.

Mrs Dansua intends to pursue an aggressive tourism development project she says must transform the sector.

She met with news editors Friday to put her plans before them, solicit their input and court their support.

Giving an overview of some of the problems militating against the development of the sector – which she intends to tackle head-on – the minister said the perilous nature of road travel, coupled with high domestic airfares, were seriously undermining efforts to increase the numbers of tourism arrivals in the country. This, she said had been compounded by the difficult-to-access nature of some of the tourist sites.

Inadequate marketing and branding, in her view, negatively affects the growth of the sector which is the fourth largest foreign exchange earner in the country.

To address these challenges, Ms Sena Dansua said an ultra-modern Tourism Information Centre, expected to be completed by October this year, was being constructed in Accra.

Recognizing that there can never be enough funding from central government, the tourism minister said a Ghana Tourism Development Fund to source and pool resources from donors and the private sector, was in the works.

She is not impressed that the collaboration between the private and public sectors in the development of tourism is weak, and indicated her desire to strengthen the collaboration.

Ms Sena Dansua, who is also the Member of Parliament for North Dayi in the Volta Region, said she was also concerned with the preponderance of sensational journalism, arguing that such media reports can create a non-existent bleak atmosphere in the country and which will scare potential tourists.

She appealed to journalists to exercise restraint in their reportage because of the potential consequences of consistent negative stories from the country.

For her, the largely stable economic and political conditions in Ghana was enough basis to market Ghana’s tourism potentials.

An immediate past Sports Minister, Ms Dansua, seemed depressed that Ghana did not capitalize enough on the Black Stars’ exploits at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa to brand the country.

She said the Stars’ performance gave Ghana free, effective marketing tools which could have been used to create lasting impressions about the country on the minds of many the world over and boost the nation’s tourism, but that was not effectively done.

All is not lost yet, she believes, since Ghana is still a force to reckon with as far as world football is concerned and this reputation can still be harvested for tourism purposes.

Deputy Tourism Minister James Agyenim-Boateng said the ministry was using ICT, (Click here) to market Ghana's tourism sites.

He said the ministry was willing to facilitate the travelling of any journalist to investigate and report on any of the tourist sites.