16.06.2004 Business & Finance

Govt to commission charter flights from US and Germany

16.06.2004 LISTEN
By Graphic

The government, will, by the end of this year, commission two charter flights from Baltimore to Accra, and Dusseldorf to Accra Ghana at affordable prices. The charter flights are expected to push down the exorbitant air fares charged by other airlines that plied the country's routes.

The Minister of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, said this when he inaugurated a new hotel, called Dutchotel Nshonaa, at Nungua in Accra.He noted that the modest gain chalked by his ministry in the tourism sector could be attributed to the successful public-private partnership encouraged by the government.

He noted that the government was committed to ensuring that an enabling environment was created to attract private sector investment and participation in the tourism sector.He appealed to both local and foreign investors to invest in the hotel industry, saying, “a critical sub-sector which needs urgent attention in this respect is hotel accommodation”.

The Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Arie Van Der Wiel, noted that the Ministry of Tourism's plan to attract over one million tourists into the country in the next four years was a reality as Ghana could boost of 500 kilometres of picturesque coastline, unique rainforest, wildlife and natural parks.

He emphasised that Ghanaians were people of smiles and cherished their traditional rites, adding that “ this could be utilised effectively to promote tourism as it could play a crucial role in poverty alleviation.” The chief executive of the hotel, Mr Van Staalduinen, said the company had indigenised its operations, adding that only the management staff were Dutch, with the rest of the staff being Ghanaians.

He appealed to the government to lessen the “red tape” incidents to give meaning to the numerous incentives that it had put in place to attract investors.The hotel, which cost 2.5 million euros has 120 rooms, out of which 80 are currently being used.

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