Greater Accra Regional Chair of the Ghana Hotels Association, Benjamin Afunya has suggested that Ministers of State must be made to promote local tourist destinations in the country.
According to him, the domestic tourism campaign launched by the government to stimulate the tourism industry can only be sustained and made realistic if government officials use the resources available to them to promote tourist sites nationwide.
He believes Ministers of State and other government appointees who travel with news crews can kill two birds with a stone on any official visit they embark on. “The President should force every Minister to visit tour sites in the country if we want to boost domestic tourism. When these Ministers go on national assignments, they should be forced to visit tour sites in those areas. They already have camera crews with them and it will be easy to promote these areas.
The ordinary Ghanaian who may not be aware of more than 10 tour sites in the country will be kept updated by this and all this will not be at any extra cost that will overburden the nation,” he told Samuel Eshun, host of the Happy Morning Show.
In making domestic tourism more attractive, he also proposed that Members of Parliament (MP’s) and other politicians should also use their social media platforms to promote local tourism destinations.
Benjamin Afunya noted that the industry players are every ready to collaborate with the government in promoting domestic tourism but, “we need the Ministers and other politicians to do same and if that happens, the media will definitely join in, our children will know more about our heritage and hope of the ordinary Ghanaian will be revived.”
President Nana Akufo-Addo officially launched the Domestic and Regional Tourism Campaign designed to stimulate the tourism industry. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) and other tourism industry players, the official launch event took place on 1st June 2021 at Labadi Beach Hotel.
It was a full house as industry stakeholders were in attendance to inaugurate a campaign that will shift the tourism industry’s focus towards encouraging travel in Ghana and regional countries. In a speech read on his behalf, the President said, “Global tourism suffered its worst year on record in 2020, with international arrivals dropping by some 74% according to the latest data from the World Tourism Organization.” This is significant because Ghana’s tourism industry has historically benefited from international travellers and with the impact of the global pandemic, the industry has experienced a serious decline. The President is confident that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority will achieve the targets of improving tourism through this new campaign. “The domestic tourism program, which was launched yesterday targets increasing domestic arrivals to 600,000 by 2022 and to one million by 2024.” as said in the president’s speech. “Whiles the West African regional target aims at increasing arrivals from 180,000 presently to 400,000 by 2024.”
The aim for this new campaign is to stimulate the economy as we travel within our own borders and to our neighboring ECOWAS countries. The campaign theme is #ExperienceGhana #ShareGhana. Travel industry stakeholders will be offering discounted packages on tours, accommodations, and transportation to encourage the public to take advantage and explore Ghana. The 18-month long campaign will also include contests open to the public that will offer exciting prize packages.