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22.11.2007 Politics

Comprehensive Tourism Policy Before Cabinet

The Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations has placed before Cabinet a comprehensive tourism policy for consideration, the sector minister, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, has disclosed.

The policy, which covers all aspects of tourism, will review the existing tourism law (SMCD 80) to include the private sector on the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB).

Mr Asamoah-Boateng made these known when he answered questions posed by some Members of Parliament about the tourism sector.

The MP for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah A.B. Fuseini, asked why the membership of the Ghana Tourist Board had not been reconstituted six years after the dissolution of the previous board.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng said the GTB was established by the NRCD 224 and amended by SMCD 90 in 1977, with its membership skewed towards government institutions, including the Ghana Armed Forces.

He explained that that was the time the government managed such tourism facilities as hotels and restaurants.
“Mr Speaker, even though the government is diversting itself from engaging in the hospitality business, not much has been done to change the decree and this has created a vacuum,” he stated.

He added that the ministry was trying to bring institutions in the tourism industry together, so that they could nominate their representative to serve on the board when it was reconstituted.

The minister announced that the process to appoint an executive director for the board had already begun.
The MP for Wa West, Mr Joseph Yieleh Chireh, also asked the minister whether the “Joseph Project” was not a duplication of the Emancipation and the PANAFEST programme.

Replying, Mr Asamoah-Boateng indicated that the project would rather strengthen the PANAFEST and the Emancipation programmes and make them richer in content and enhance the personal experiences of the Diasporan.

“Mr Speaker, in tourism, the more successful events a country puts together go a long way to boost the industry,” he said.

Mr Asamoah-Boateng also informed the House that to have a comprehensive development of Kintampo and its surrounding areas, including the Fuller Falls, the ministry had prepared a draft land use plan for the overall development of the waterfalls.

Answering a question posed by the MP for Kintampo North, Mr Stephen Kunsu, the minister, said that in conjunction with the district assembly, the ministry had constructed a receptive facility that would provide an information office, souvenir shop, lavatories, eating place and a parking space for Kintampo and the Fuller Waterfalls.

Story by Kweku Tsen

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