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Take Tourism Development Fund seriously – Sagnari Naa advises Hoteliers


The Ghana Hotel Association has been urged to take seriously the Tourism Development Fund created by the government.

The Chief of Sagnarigu, Naa Ambassador Yakubu Abdulai said it is not least surprising, considering the inextricable link in the fortunes of tourism and the hospitality industry in Ghana.

Naa Ambassador Yakubu Abdulai was speaking at the 8th Biennial General Conference of the Ghana Hotels Association in Tamale on the theme: “The Tourism Development Fund-Opportunities and Challenges”.

He added that as a consumer and concerned Ghanaian, he is conscious and appreciative of the important contribution of tourism to the national economy. He added that tourism has an immense potential and even greater role in spurring the development of our country and helping to address the huge problem of youth unemployment.

 Touching on the theme for the conference, Naa Ambassador Yakubu Abdulai disclosed the Fund was established under the Tourism Act 2011 to provide funding for tourism and related projects and programs, the marketing and promotion of tourism at home and abroad, capacity building and the development of tourism infrastructure. Under the Act, it is to be resourced by government seed money and other government provision and the 1% tourism levy (LI 2185, 2012) payable by clients of the various tourism establishments.

The opportunities provided by the Fund, Ambassador Abdulai said, are embedded in the purpose for which it was established.

He further stated that it is the manifestation of Government’s wish to work with the private sector in raising funds for the development and marketing of tourism.

On the challenges that will be faced in resourcing and managing the Fund, Naa Ambassador Abdulai said unless tourism establishments register and honour their commitments honestly, the Fund cannot be sustained to meet the high expectations it engenders.

He said the key beneficiaries can help by ensuring that its members collect the levy and pay it on time.

Government on the other hand, he said, is already facing dire problems with a huge budget deficit and may not be expected from that source and cautioned that care needs to be taken to ensure the mother Ministry is not tempted to consider the Fund as a supplementary source of budgetary support for its own operations.

Ambassador Abdulai questioned, “If we have slave routes that are being promoted, for example, why would we not as well identify and promote the routes followed by nation builders, such as the Great Gbewaa?” His [Naa Gbewaa’s] antecedents dominate the traditional ruling classes in most of Northern Ghana and parts of Burkina Faso.

Buried in Pusiga in the Upper East Region, Gbewaa travelled there from Biun, where his father arrived from Mali, sometime back in the 15th century. “I am not sure if Biun is in present day Zuarungu District of the Upper East Region or in Burkina Faso,” Ambassador Abdulai doubted.

He further stated accountability is always a challenge in our country and urged the Board to ensure value for money and relevance in the approval of projects for funding. Naa Ambassador Yakubu Abdulai again drew the attention of members of Ghana Tourism Authority on the need to market traditional festivals and sites in their localities. He admonished them to adopt corporate social responsibility policy to benefit their neighbouring communities in promotion of a healthy environment, sanitation and public health education.

The Northern Regional Chairman of the Ghana Hotels Association, Malam Samson Zakaria on his part said the serious challenge encountering the industry is the high bills Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies are heaping on the operators and the unusually very high electricity and water tariffs which are strangulating the tourism industry in Ghana.

Mr. Zakaria urged the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Finance to do something about the situation to help salvage the industry.

By; Mohammed Shaharan/                                                                                   



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