Bolgatanga, March 29, GNA- An official of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) at the weekend condemned some District Assemblies in the Upper East Region trying to interfere with duties of the GTB by inspecting hotels and restaurants.
The Regional Manager of GTB, Madam Mary Agangmigre, who said this was expressing misgivings at some Environmental Health Officers of district assemblies inspecting guestrooms of hoteliers and restaurant operators in the region. She was speaking at the sixth regional tourism awards for operators of the hospitality business, and organised by GTB and co-sponsored by Ghana Brewery Limited, Unilever and Manet companies. She reminded those assemblies that the practice is a duplication of functions that confused the operators in the tourist sector. Madam Agangmigre said to avoid dumping the spirit of the numerous tourists who come to the region, her outfit directs that anybody seeking to do tour guiding should register with the board and be assisted to go for professional training.
The Upper East Regional Minister Mr. Mahami Salifu, touched on the importance of tourism to the national economy and said until the potential tourists attractions are developed properly Ghana could not realise the full benefits of that sector. He said tourism accounts for a substantial percentage of the country's foreign exchange earning, and it also has the potential to create jobs for the youth as well as generate income for other individuals. He said records show that between tourism attraction sites and infrastructure development such as roads, electricity, education, and good drinking water, tourism could be considered as a process to alleviate poverty in the country.
The Acting Chief Executive of GTB, Mr. Martin Mireku, in an address read for him said the Board is determined to raise the image of tourism. Five organisations were honoured with awards in the honorary division for their services in developing the industry.