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12.08.2011 Travel & Tourism

Tourism Generated $1.8bn In 2010 - Minister

By Michael Donkor & Simone Dittmar - Daily Graphic
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Two hundred and ninety-one thousand jobs were created in the tourism sector by the Ministry of Tourism in 2010, the sector minister, Ms Akua Sena Dansua, has said.

She said the ministry also generated $1.8 billion as revenue, which constituted 6.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) for the country in 2010.

Speaking at the meet-the-press organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Ms Dansua said the ministry was working hard towards making Ghana an international tourist destination.

Consequently, she said, the Tourism Development Plan of the country was being reviewed in line with international standards to embrace modern trends in the tourism industry.

She said that the tourism sector had made modest gains so far in terms of being the fourth major foreign exchange earner for the country and that it had generated revenue for private businesses, district assemblies and communities.

She said the ministry was poised to work closely with relevant agencies to fully contribute to economic wealth, poverty reduction, environmental conservation, national and international cohesion.

Concerning the key achievements of the ministry, the minister explained that the ministry had participated and promoted Ghana at many international fairs and exhibitions in America, Europe, Asia and Africa to showcase the country’s tourist products to the international market and to place Ghana on the world tourist map.

The tourism sector, according to her, had also deepened good governance through on-going institutionalisation and internalisation of policy formulation and planning.

She gave the assurance that the ministry would continue to be committed to developing tourism to contribute to the rapid transformation of the Ghanaian economy and the achievement of the ‘Better Ghana’ agenda.

She said the ministry was also working hard to create a conducive environment for Ghanaians to visit and enjoy the country’s rich natural, cultural and historical tourist endowments, while providing the vehicle for Ghanaians to know their country better to foster national unity and cohesion.

Ms Dansua said the ministry had developed new high value options in the leisure market and the cultural heritage.

As part of the strategies of the ministry to promote tourism, two new tourist receptive facilities are being constructed at Axim and Kpetoe at various stages while the Accra visitor information centre is also under construction.

Additionally, libraries christened “Thank you small libraries” are being constructed in other communities.

Ms Dansua said the ministry had lobbied the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to add Ghana to selected countries in West Africa to benefit from its cross-border parks programme.

Cabinet, she said, had given the approval for local dishes to be served at official functions both at home and abroad as part of the efforts to market Ghanaian dishes locally and internationally.