Dr Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has announced the launch in 2024 of a GH¢100 million Tourism Enterprises Project set to encourage young Ghanaians to develop brilliant tourism ideas for implementation.
Minister for MoTAC, Dr Alhaji Mohammed Ibrahim Awal who made the disclosure during interactions between editors and his outfit in Accra yesterday stated that “we are going to encourage young people to give us projects on sustainable tourism.”
The initiative, the Minister pointed out was to add on fresh sustainable projects that will help achieve the set target of attracting more tourists into Ghana, both international and domestic.
The media interaction was for MoTAC to strengthen long standing partnerships with the media to put tourism issues on the front burner and court the support of the private sector across the tourism value chain.
6,000 youth to be trained on customer care
Dr Awal further disclosed that his ministry would train some 6,000 young people to provide quality customer care to tourists and all visitors to tourism sites around the country.
“One of our key problems in this country is customer care; visits to our heritage sites hardly gives any good impression of good customer orientation on the part of the guides or attendants,” he lamented.
To help correct the problem,” we are ready invest money to train 6,000 people along the tourism value chain be they cooks, security guards, hotel staff and tour guides to improve customer care in the tourism sector.”
The driving force behind these tourism projects according to the Minister is to promote what he described as “repeat tourism.”
“The most important thing in tourism is repeat tourism. When I visit your facility, I must come back next time, not alone but with my friends and family, stay longer and spend more; that’s what makes tourism tick; if I come, leave and don’t come back , then we’ve lost it,” Dr Awal explained.
He revealed that part of the reasons his ministry is investing in improving tourist sites across the country was to ensure that tourists spend at least 10 days beyond the present seven days when they pay visits to destinations in Ghana.
“When we modernise these tourist sites and add new ones, we want tourists to spend at least 10 days so they can also spend beyond the $3000 they spend on the average for the seven day stay so we can make more money and also create more jobs for our people,” he stated.
Museums and Castles
Dr Awal disclosed that the Osu Castle, when refurbished and modernised will be a presidential and governance museum that will have histories about all Ghana’s past and present presidents.
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In partnership with the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Minister stated that 50 kilometres of roads to tourist sites are constructed each year and this will be expanded with availability of resources.
Acting Executive Director of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board Mr Kingsley Ofosu-Ntiamoah said plans are underway to work on and modernise all other forts and castles including Cape Coast and Elmina among others.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Akwasi Agyeman revealed that several tourist sites had been upgraded in the past five to six years.
“Work is currently ongoing in the Yaa Asantewaa Museum and the Aburi Botanical Gardens while the Bonwire Kente Museum will soon be commissioned,” he added.
Ghana Tourism Devt project
Mr Agyeman said for the first time in the history of Ghana , the ministry successfully undertook a Ghana Tourism development project which was a five-year World Bank funded project.
The project has impacted the entire tourism value chain in terms of product development, marketing, sector skills and enterprise support.
Through the digitisation drive, there is now a Tourism single window platform which has birthed the visit Ghana app and is helping the GTA track travels and visits to Ghana.
Aggressive marketing drive
The GTA started off with the See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana coupled with the Year of Return and Beyond the Return which have been a monumental success.
The aggressive marketing drive has culminated in solid progress in terms of people visiting Ghana and to the various tourism sites.
SOURCE: The Finder