10.07.2006 General News

Ghana encourages conference and business tourism

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Accra, July 10, GNA - About 45 per cent of tourists, who visited the country last year were leisure tourists who came purposely for holidays or to see family members and friends.

However, conference meetings and business tourism brought in more foreign exchange, Mr Owusu Amoakohene, Research Advisor at the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporean Relations, said on Monday.

He said in the "Tourism Data Series", which focus on purpose of visit by tourists, showed that 421,799 tourists visited Ghana last year, and there was not a single month when tourists visiting family and friends were not in the highest category.

The Sector Ministry has, therefore, begun to research on how to provide the necessary assistance and support to hosts of conferences. Mr Amoakohene said even though leisure tourists represented the highest number of visitors, revenue brought in through business and conference tourism was an indication of the importance of that area of tourism to Ghana.

The data series is a programme under which regular tourism data would be made available to stakeholders and the general public about trends in tourism development in Ghana.

Ghana needed to attract significant numbers of such tourists, the Researcher said, noting that more facilities and services should be developed and enhanced to fulfil the desires of visitors. "The prospect for tourism is endless due to the unspoiled culture and beautiful beaches as well as opportunities for lovers of nature to visit beautiful scenery," he said

Mr Amoakohene said Ghana, as a country, should begin to recognize the importance of tourism to enable the industry to grow to unimaginable heights.

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