The forecourt of the Takoradi Mall was the chosen grounds for this year's grand celebration of the United Nation's World Tourism Day. The occasion was graced by a host of dignitaries and stakeholders from across the length and breadth of Ghana.
This year's celebration dubbed, 'Tourism and Rural Development', was inaugurated on September 22, 2020, and concluded on Sunday, 27th September 2020. The one-week celebration witnessed a series of events, including a tree planting exercise in Damang and Bogoso, both in the Prestea Huni-Valley Constituency.
Present at the concluding ceremony last Sunday was the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi, and her Deputy, Hon. Ziblim Iddi Barri. Omanehene of the Esikado Traditional Council, Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, who doubles as the Western Regional President of the Hotels Association of Ghana, was also present.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the historic occasion, Nana Kobina Nketsiah V, threw the gathering back to the days of old and highlighted the rich heritage and culture our forefathers left us.
On his part, the Metropolitan Chief Executive for the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Abdul-Mumin Issah, gave more insight into the Region's prominence when mention is made of tourism and tourist centres in the country.
The Boss of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Kwesi Agyemang, who had his goodwill message delivered on his behalf by a representative from the Authority, talked about attraction sites based in the rural areas and stressed how the sector is poised in developing these rural communities.
In her address, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Barbara Oteng-Gyasi talked about how the Year of Return initiative has, this year, contributed immensely to Ghana's tourism sector.
She, however, bemoaned how the outbreak of the global pandemic, Covid-19, cut the initiative short, and how it has also hindered the Beyond The Year of Return initiative.
The Hon. Minister also touched on the sector's intentions to rehabilitate and expand the Takoradi Cultural Centre and to also champion the Annual Masquerade Festival in Takoradi every December.
In his concluding remarks, Nana Kobina Nketsiah V commended the Hon. Minister and her sector for their pledge to rehabilitate the Cultural Centre and to also establish a Gold Museum in Takoradi.