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14.10.2004 Travel & Tourism

Benin Tourism Minister calls on Jake

By GNA

Accra, Oct. 14, GNA - Ghana, Togo and Benin are collaborating to strengthen and develop the tourism industry in the three countries. To this effect, the Benin Minister of Culture, Handicraft and Tourism, Mr. Frederic Dohou on Thursday called on the Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr. Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey in Accra.

In order to attract more tourists, the three countries are deliberating on how to build a Tourists Police that would protect tourists to their border posts.

They are also discussing how to issue transit visas for tourists to facilitate their movement within the countries.

The Benin Minister, who has been in Ghana with his team for about a week told the media that he was impressed about tourists sites he visited, particularly, the Kakum National Park and the Elmina Castle. Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Dohuo said, "I nearly cried when I visited the Elmina Castle where slaves were transited, but restrained myself because of my other colleagues."

He said he wished to take experiences he had acquired in the tourism sector in Ghana, especially on the Kakum Canopy Walk, back to his country.

He also called for collaboration between the media in the three countries to visit each other's countries and exchange ideas, write about positive happenings in the countries to correct the wrong publicity the foreign media continued to give about Africa.

Mr. Dohou said the tourism industry in the countries of the sub-region faced similar difficulties and expressed the hope that with such collaborations the situation would gradually improve.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the collaboration was a good thing to happen to the three countries, and their Togolese counterpart has already visited Ghana for such deliberations.

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