Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Arts, Mark Okraku Mantey has indicated that the tourism sector in Ghana is currently ranked as the 3rd largest contributor to GDP.
According to him, tourism in Ghana has come to be recognized as pivotal to inclusive economic growth and development, adding that the journey to this favorable position has been backed by several, carefully planned initiatives, targeted at boosting the sector’s performance and contribution to national development.
He said this when he represented Ghana at the Forum for the Internationalisation of Tourism in the Canary Islands (FITCAN) in Tenerife and Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, in Spain).
The forum provided an opportunity to showcase services, knowledge, and tourist products to international buyers and investors.
FIT also focuses on presenting plans for the development and attraction of still-in-development touristic locations.
Addressing the guests, he noted that its the vision of the Government of Ghana to position the country as the most preferred destination in Africa, and the country receives two million international tourists per annum.
“Favourable rankings by the World Economic Forum Global Competitive Report, successful economic policies, political stability, a safe and secure environment, unique and relatively better tourism assets and infrastructure, improved visa policy, and better travel connectivity, have made Ghana become a comparatively preferable destination for tourism, especially for MICE in the sub-region” he added.
He noted that the Ghana Tourism Development Project is in line with the UNWTO’s 5 sustainable tourism development pillars of tourism policy and governance, economic performance, creation of employment and decent work, poverty reduction, and sustainability.
In addressing constraints faced by the sector and creating the needed conducive environment, he said the Government of Ghana through its implementing agency, the MoTAC with the funding support of $40 million from the International Development Association of the World Bank Group is implementing the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP).
He added that the tourism sector is currently generating $5billion per annum, creating 200, 000 direct jobs and 400, 000 indirect jobs, and Ghana became the Centre of the World.
Okraku Mantey added that the Government of Ghana seeks to harness the synergies both at the local, national, and international levels so that we can together build stronger and lasting prosperity beyond the borders.
BY Daniel Bampoe