Take ownership and management of tourism sites – WR Minister to Stakeholders

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Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister, has said there is the need for tourism stakeholders to take a firm decision for the ownership and management of the various tourism destination sites in the country.

This, the Minister said, would allow Metropolitan and Municipal Chief Executives to invest in training the youth so they could protect these assets in the long term.

Mr Darko- Mensah said this in a panel discussion, on the topic: “Building capacities and enhancing community contribution for inclusive sustainable tourism”, at the second Aviator conference held at Takoradi.

He said there are a lot of tourism destination sites and areas that some district assemblies did not even know they were located under their jurisdiction.

Mr Darko-Mensah said in building the capacity for service, there is also the need for attitude change because it has been one of the major challenges in the country.

He said for tourism destination sites to be successful, it needed support from the communities in which they are located and it is time to see tourism as a game changer and a long term source of employment.

Mr Victor Anderson Hodibert, Head of Tourism Department at the Takoradi Technical University, said there is the need for communities to be sensitized on the benefits of tourism and their inclusion in the decision making process.

He said the core extent of sustainable tourism was to provide inter and intra benefits of tourism for the community now and future generations.

Madam Elizabeth Twumwaa Sasu, Chief Executive Officer of Gh Aviation, said there is the need for training and manuals that tell the story about the region for tour guides to maintain consistency.

Mr Charles Twum the Director, Ghana Civil Aviation Training Academy, said the travel and tourism industry employs about 72 million people worldwide adding that if Ghana was to focus on putting in place the right infrastructure, the tourism industry would be able to create more employment opportunities for the youth.

Mr Twum said tourism accounted directly for about 3.8 percent of the world’s GDP, while Ghana has about 5.5 percent adding that the industry is expected to employ about 84 million people globally by 2019.

He said current figures from the Ghana Tourism Authority indicates that an estimated 4 million international visitors were expected in the country by 2027.

Mr Twum said one major challenge facing the tourism industry was the high cost of hotel accommodation in the country which has been discouraging people from traveling into the country.

He said there is the need for a comprehensive policy on aviation and tourism, the establishment of an international and local carriers grouping to serve as a synergy between the airlines and tourism sector.

-GNA

ABOUT: Nana Kwesi Coomson

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An Entrepreneur, Corporate Communications Executive and Philanthropist. Editor-in-Chief of www.233times.com. A Senior Journalist with Ghanaian Chronicle Newspaper. An alumnus of Adisadel College where he read General Arts. He holds first degree in Bachelor of Arts from the University of Ghana; Political Science (major) and History (minor). In 2015, he won a £35,000 postgraduate scholarship to study MSc Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Energy with Public Relations (PR) at the Robert Gordon University in the United Kingdom. He is a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow who studied at Clark Atlanta University in USA on the Business and Entrepreneurship track. His mentors are Rupert Murdoch, Warren Buffet, Sam Jonah, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and Piers Morgan

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