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Implement national tourism policies says Youth Tourism Ambassador

Larabanga Mosque

A Youth Tourism Ambassador of Ghana, Joseph Amartey has asked that government implements the national tourism policies to serve as a road map towards the development of the sector.

According to him, the industry can grow bigger if the right policies are put in place to manage the activities of the sector. He said tourism is a significant contributor to economic growth and development in Ghana.

‘’It is a major source of foreign exchange, employment and government revenues and ranked forth on the high foreign exchange earner list after gold, cocoa and oil’’.

According to the recently released hospitality report for Ghana, tourism contributed 7.8% of the country’s GDP in 2017. In 2013, the direct contribution of the Travel & Tour industry to Ghana’s GDP was US$1.34 billion, representing 2.8% of GDP.

The number of jobs directly supported by tourism was 124,000 and Travel & Tour investment amounted to US$303 million in 2013. Ghana’s tourism industry development indicators have increased over the years.

International tourist receipts increased from US$970 million in 2008 to US$1,068 in 2013. Also the number of annual international visitors to Ghana is now roughly 950,000 and is expected to grow to 1.5 million by 2024.

Speaking to Zaa News, Mr Amartey said in order for the country to attract more tourists to tourist destinations, the cost of entry and various souvenirs should be reduced at tourist sites.

‘’Quite often, tourists are faced with the challenge of having to pay very high fees before they are allowed entry into the tourist sites. They are also charged high prices when they purchase souvenirs’’.

He has therefore suggested that authorities ensure that prices are made affordable enough and souvenirs not overpriced to ensure more people are able to visit these sites to help generate more revenue.

He added that the industry should be made attractive to solve the problem of lack of investment. According to him, citizens must advertise the beauty of this great country and maintain well the already existing sites.

‘’We must also appeal for aid from corporate bodies and stakeholders. It is only when people know that help is needed that they will come to our aid.’’

Mr Amartey further urged that content of television contains local stories to promote the Ghanaian culture, adding that we all have a role to play in the improvement of the tourism sector.

By: Lilian D. Walter

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