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24.04.2009 Travel & Tourism

GTB record growth in domestic tourism

By GNA
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Tema, April 24, GNA – The Ghana Tourist Board has

recorded a significant growth in domestic tourism as statistics for

2008 showed that 77 percent of visitors to 38 tourist sites in the

country were local residents.
Some 615,207 Ghana cedis was realised from over half a

million visits to the sites during the period, Mr Edwin

Owusu-Mensah, Deputy Executive Director-Operations of the

Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) said on Thursday.
Mr Owusu-Mensah said this at the inauguration of 11

executive members of the rejuvenated Tema Port branch of the

Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority (GPHA) Tourist Club.

He said as part of measures to promote domestic

tourism, the GTB had encouraged the formation of tourism clubs at

schools, work places and churches and that there are over 150 clubs

with 12,000 membership nationwide.
Mr Owusu-Mensah said domestic tourism must be

promoted as the United Nations World Tourism Organization

believes that the volume of domestic tourism globally is 10 times

more than international tourism.
He said domestic tourism would inspire a sense of

national identity, unity and cultural integration among Ghanaians as

interaction with people in other communities would result in

appreciating and understanding of their way of life.

It also provides an opportunity for learning more about

the country as well as generating employment for the people, prevent

rural-urban migration and improve the economy of communities.

Mr Owusu-Mensah congratulated GPHA for reviving the

club and expressed the hope that the club's activities would

encourage other organizations in the Tema metropolis to form or

revive theirs to promote a viable domestic tourism.

Mr Kodwo Adansi Bonna, General Manager,

Administration of GPHA, called on the GTB and other stakeholders

not to only pay lip service to the sector but should put in practical

measures to promote tourism.
Mr Bonna said the country's infrastructure must be

developed to attract tourists both local and foreigners to the sites,

adding that while roads to most of the sites were in deplorable state,

hotel accommodations are not affordable.
He gave the assurance that management was prepared to

fully support the club as it sees it as an aspect of the company's

welfare policy due to the benefits associated with its activities

especially helping to reduce stress among the staff.

He appealed to the club not to only concentrate on

travelling but should also use its activities to improve operations at

the port as well as their human relations.
“Such actions can attract more people to the port as it is one of

the tourist sites in the country.”
Mr Kumi Adjei-Sam, President of the club, said the

association which was formed in 1996 died off as most of its

members became redundant.
He said it was revived in March with 80 members and that

its aim was to promote the cooperate image of GPHA through

tourism.
GNA

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