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27.09.2005 Travel & Tourism

Minister suggests the establishment of tourism bank.

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Koforidua, Sept. 27, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah, has suggested the creation of a Tourism Development Bank and a Tourist Development Fund to ensure an accelerated development of the tourism industry.

He noted that the creation of such a bank would help end the plight that many potential tourism operators and local government agencies faced in attracting the requisite capital in developing tourist attractions.

Mr Barimah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Koforidua South, made the suggestion when addressing stakeholders in the tourism industry at Koforidua on Monday as part of activities marking this year's World Tourism Day.

The event is being celebrated under the broad theme of "Travel and Transport" and will be climaxed on Tuesday with a durbar at Adasewase in the East Akyem District of the Eastern Region.

The occasion was also used to launch commemorative stamps on the "Akwantukese" festival of the people of the New Juaben Traditional Area that chronicles their sojourn from Juaben in the Ashanti Region to their present location.

According to Mr Barimah, the Region could boast of lots of tourist sites but efforts aimed at developing these attractions were being hampered by the lack of funds while the "few daring investors are faced with high interest rates from the banks".

He said unless the fund was created, potential tourist investors would continue to face great challenges in having access to funds, despite evidence of the likelihood of the Region becoming a major tourism destination in the West Africa sub-region.

A Deputy Minister for Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng re-echoed efforts by government to make Ghana a preferred tourist destination and gave the assurance of the readiness of his outfit to support any investors engaged in such endeavour.

The Omanhene of the New Juaben Traditional Area, Daasebre (Dr) Oti Boateng who chaired the function, called for the creation of up-to-date and exhaustive directories on road networks and tourists attractions in the country as a way of marketing such tourist sites.

Earlier, Professor Addo Fenning, Chairman of the Ghana Post Board, launched the commemorative stamps and gave the assurance of the postal company to continue to explore opportunities to develop new and appropriate products that would enhance the image of the country. Among dignitaries that witnessed the ceremony were Dr Brempong Yeboah, MP for Atiwa, the New Juaben Municipal Chief Executive, Nana Akwasi Adjei Boateng, the Managing Director of Ghana Post, Mr Kofi Dua Adonteng and the Public Relations Director of Ghana Police, Mr David Eklu, among others. 27 Sept. 05