A two-day Presidential Summit on Tourism has opened in Ghana with a call for sustainable tourism practices in communities to promote jobs, generate foreign exchange and stimulate infrastructural development.
The event, under the theme: 'Rethinking Tourism for Economic Growth and Job
Creation, organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), led by Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) led by Mr
Akwasi Agyeman is the first of its kind in Ghana.
The event brought together tourism stakeholders including those from the private sector to explore new approaches to tourism that prioritises national development, job creation and sustainable tourism.
Ambassador Nancy Q Sam, the Vice President of the Economic Community for the West African States (ECOWAS) Tourism Private Sector Confederation (COPITOUR), present at the event, expressed gratitude to President Nana Akufo-Addo for opening his arms to support tourism and the private sector.
"We are thankful to the president under who auspices this maiden event is taking place.
It was a time of interaction with the president who opened his arms to support tourism and the private sector," she noted.
Speaking at the inaugural Presidential Summit on Tourism at the Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region, the President stressed the need for stakeholders in the tourism industry to collaborate to make Ghana a world-class tourist destination.
He used the opportunity to call on citizens to guard against actions that derail the country’s peaceful co-existence to achieve the goal.
President Akufo-Addo charged participants to focus on the 4 Ps: preservation, promotion, policy leadership, and partnership and directed the MoTAC to ramp up promotional activities to achieve two million international arrivals by 2025, which will result in US$4 billion.
He urged stakeholders in the tourism industry to unite and position the country as a world-class tourist destination.
The Secter minister Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, on his part, said the tourism industry is exhibiting signs of growth after the consequences of COVID-19.
Other participants present at the event were Heads of some tourism institutions including the President of the Tour Operators, Mrs Alisa Asamoah, the President of Hotels, Dr Nyameke, as well as Country Directors of some Africa Airlines such as Kenya Airways, Rwanda Airlines [RwandAir?], Qatar Airways, South Africa Airways, among others.
Ghana’s tourism has experienced steady growth over the last 5 years (2017-2022) reaching a pre-pandemic high of 1,130.307 international arrivals in 2019.
From 355,108 international arrivals in 2020, a total of 623,523 and 914,892 visitors were recorded in the country in 2021 and 2022 respectively.
The year 2023 is expected to record a 30% growth with sustained average visitor spend.