16.06.2006 Travel & Tourism

GATTA initiates

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Travel and Tour operators' have begun a programme of networking members to enable them to share ideas on safe and responsible tourism promotion and to increase domestic tourism by 20 per cent.

The networking programme is also geared towards getting all members on board a project dubbed: "Golden Face of Ghana," which also aims at the development and promotion of tourism through special events and tour packages.

Mr Kenneth Otchere, Chairman of the Project, told the Ghana News Agency that the project would educate the public about tourism and cultivate the culture of saving for leisure travels.

The project, which is in four phases include a National Photographic Competition and Exhibition, a Travel Ghana Raffle to be launched in August this year; a Tourism Pageant to develop interest of the youth in tourism and an Endowment Fund.

Mr Otchere said some tourism sites, events and other products expressed in the diversity of Ghana's culture; rich history and the natural environment would be selected and enhanced for tourism promotion.

"This project is GATTA's humble contribution towards Ghana's major launch pad in 2007 to increase international visitors and tourism receipts."

GATTA would facilitate the development and promotion of selected products for an initial period of two years.

Mr Otchere said: "Encounters during travels provide lifetime images and impressions for each person involved and promote cross-cultural exchanges and respect for other cultures."

He noted that tourism was capable of providing secondary income earning opportunities for the economically vulnerable in society, including the unskilled youth, subsistent farmers and fishermen.

He called for public support towards the project and to help the tourism industry to grow, saying: "The tourism industry has the huge potential to eliminate poverty especially in the rural areas."

Mr Otchere said GATTA executives had travelled to Kumasi to educate tour operators and solicit ideas for the development of the project.

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