The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is calling for the institution of a certain incentive called Workers Annual Holiday Grants' as part of efforts to encourage domestic tourism.
Deputy Chief Executive in charge of Technical Services, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr. Ekow Sampson, who advocated for this.
"If we can have boards and councils of organisations to institute paid annual leave or holiday grants to encourage workers to travel within the country, it will go a long way to boost tourism," he said.
He also called on religious organisations, corporate bodies, and authorities to set up tourist clubs to encourage local travels.
“Banks should also establish a travel savings account to which employees can make periodic contributions and collect the proceeds annually to finance domestic travels,” he stated.
Mr. Sampson made the call at the launch of the 'Let’s Tour Ghana' tourist club, as part of the GTA’s domestic tourism campaign on Tuesday, in Accra.
He said the club, initiated by the 2021 National Service Personnel of the GTA head office, was aimed at promoting domestic tourism.
He said the setting up of the tourist club had come at a time when the GTA was embarking on an aggressive domestic tourism campaign with the flagship project 'See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana.'
According to Mr. Sampson, the GTA since the outbreak of COVID-19 had embarked on series of campaigns to draw Ghanaians attention to the need to visit “our numerous diverse natural, cultural and historic sites, all geared towards domestic tourism promotion.”
He stressed that one of the key functions of the GTA was to promote international and local tourism, saying domestic tourism was the basis of the strong hospitality industry and the foundation of good transport services.
“Domestic tourism gives people the opportunity to learn more about their country and helps to inspire a sense of national identity and unity. It also helps to redistribute income within the country, especially from the urban rich to the rural poor areas,” he added.
Mr. Sampson said the formation of the club would, therefore, allow the personnel to learn more about their country's cultural, natural and historical environment, and the travel experience would always stay with them and lead them on in future to be tourist-minded in their career.
Mr. Isaac Kofi Arthur, Leader, Lets Tour Ghana, said since the outbreak of COVID-19, the tourism industry had been greatly affected, however, with the introduction of vaccines, it was time to rebuild the industry by first helping to re-establish the domestic tourism drive and re-ignite people's passion as far as tourism was concerned.
He said the time had come to educate Ghanaians by letting them know the tourist sites in Ghana as well as the history behind them, so that they would not end up becoming strangers in their motherland.
“The 'Year of Return' was splendid and the 'Beyond the Return' will be amazing as we have kicked off with this initiative to collectively get every youth and everyone involved in tourism promotion in the country,” he added.