Elmina (C/R), July 2, GNA - Forty members of the Northern Chapter of the Ghana Institute of Architects (GIA) based in Kumasi, on Thursday visited the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles, in the Central Region as part of their programme of activities marking the celebration of Ghana's Republic Day.
The tour was organised by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) in collaboration with the GIA.
Speaking to newsmen at Elmina, Mr Samuel Owusu Afram, Chairman of the Chapter said the tour was aimed among other things at giving the members the opportunity to acquaint themselves with the architectural designs of the Castles.
According to him, the tour, which would also take them to some famous hotels in the region, would put them in a good stead to study the structural designs of these places in order to enrich their skills. Mr Owusu said it was the aim of the Institute to come out with more attractive building plans for the people to make the country more attractive to tourists.
Mr Ekow Sampson, Principal Architect of the GTB and Vice-Chairman of the Northern Chapter of the GIA, urged Ghanaians to cultivate the culture of maintenance on their buildings to sustain their beauty and to enable them to last longer.
He advised architects in the other regions to embark on similar tours to such historical sites in order to blend the old with new designs.
Mr Paul Owusu Nkansah, Regional Manager, GTB, who took the visitors round reiterated the desire of the Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with GTB to boost domestic tourism.
This was in line with the programme lined up of the two organisations to prepare the ground for the tourism sector to realise an annual income of one billion dollars for the nation by the year 2007, he pointed out.
He appealed to Ghanaians to patronise domestic tourism, as a way of contributing their quota to national development.