Tourism Ministry Automates Fee Collection At Castles
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has mounted a state of the art digitised fees collection, administration and monitoring machines at the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles.
The move would help block revenue loopholes to effectively reduce manipulation and diversion of funds that went into private pockets.
The Hubtel technology is Ghana's first integrated payment platform and it accepts payment from mobile money wallets, cash GH-link card, visa and other bank cards.
Speaking at the unveiling of the Hubtel machines at separate forums at the Cape Coast and Elmina castles, Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the service would be replicated in the Volta, Western and Greater Accra Regions respectively.
She explained that the initiative formed part of a grand strategy to revamp the tourism sector with unrivalled customer service to compete globally and make Ghana the preferred tourism destination.
Mrs Afeku reiterated Government's commitment to invest in the tourism sector to give it a new phase-lift in order to re-position the country's tourism brand in the global market and make Ghana a preferred tourist destination in Africa.
"The government is committed to using tourism as an instrument for the full realisation of the potential of the country's culture and creative arts, and international markets encouraged by the enabling environment which was conducive for the growth of the sector, she said.
She admonished staff and the public to embrace the change and its implications for the safety of their lives, property and mutual benefits.
Touching on security, Mrs Afeku said a body scanner and CCTV cameras would be installed at the main entrance gates and vantage locations to detect offensive objects on a person's body to guarantee visitors safety.
To further improve customer services, Mrs. Afeku announced moves by the Museums and Monument Board (MMB) for staff to wear distinctive uniforms for easy identification and create a positive impression on the customer to contribute to projecting the corporate image.
She said officials of the Board would be trained on the use of the machines with support from MTN and will receive capacity building training on varied managerial and customer service topics to inspire and encourage them to give-off their best.
To improve sanitation at the forts and castles, Mrs. Afeku spoke of the unwavering determination of the Ministry to build modern toilet facilities with six shower halls toilets to end the phenomenon of open defecation.
She urged communities with MMB facilities to embrace proper environmental cleanliness to stem open defecation and warned that the Ministry would not hesitate to deal ruthlessly with people who endangered the lives of others through indiscriminate open defecation.
The metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies must show commitment to reducing Open Defecation in their respective districts to ensure that Ghana met the Sustainable Development Goal target on open defecation and sanitation in general.
Mr Ebenezer Collins Bordor, an Assistant Director of Museum, Cape Coast Castle, lauded the Minister for her resolve to revive the sector and called for improved working conditions for staff to enable them give off their best.
By Isaac Arkoh, GNA