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29.09.2005 Travel & Tourism

Tourism stakeholders should work to check road accidents

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Adasawase (E/R), Sept. 29, GNA - Papa Owusu Ankomah, Minister of the Interior, has called on stakeholders in the tourism industry to seriously work to remove the spectre of blood and pain that is increasingly becoming associated with travel in the country. He said since most motor accidents were caused through careless driving, it was important for all stakeholders including vehicle owners and users of transport to play their part in minimizing the menace. Papa Owusu Ankomah was addressing a durbar to mark World Tourism Day at Adasawase, near Anyinam in the Atiwa District on Tuesday. This year's celebration was on the theme: "Travel and transport, an imaginary of Jules Vern to the reality of the 21st Century".

Ministers of State, Members of Parliament, District Chief Executives, chiefs, tourism operators and beauty queens from Ghana, Togo, Nigeria and Liberia among a cross section of the people attended it.

Papa Owusu Ankomah, who asked motorists and other road users to respect the rules and regulations, warned that the police were determined to make the roads very secure and safe by checking indiscipline on the roads.

He therefore charged the police to live above reproach by working diligently and vigorously to tame the endemic indiscipline on the roads. The Minister also called on Ghanaians to report careless and dangerous drivers to the police, saying, "Our quest for and need of tourism inflows and investments are too great and pressing to be compromised by the dangers on our roads."

He commended the Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City for using the celebration to champion the cause of safety and security on the roads, rivers, rails and in the air.

Papa Owusu Ankamah expressed the hope that the celebration would provide the impetus to efforts to contain what had been described as "the growing terrorism on the roads", which he noted, impacted negatively on the economy, especially tourism, which greatly relied on travelling.

According to him, Cabinet had decided to market Ghana under the brand name and slogan "Ghana, the Golden Experience", noting that in spite of its potential, the country's tourism was still virgin in its exploration, excitement and enjoyment.

The Minister explained that the Strategic Action Plan of the NPP government sought to boost the industry to engender tourist flow of one million to generate 1.5 billion dollars in 2007.

Papa Owusu Ankamah invited those who doubted the immense potential of the country's tourism to visit the Adasawase area to taste the adventurous sites such as virgin rainforests, farms, a string of caves, mighty trees and a collection of waterfalls.

He called on the Ministry of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City and its agencies to work in collaboration with the district assemblies, chiefs and people of the area to develop those products for value addition towards a full realization of the potential of the area. The Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, announced that the road between Anyinam and Adasawase would be tarred while reception centres and modern resting places would be provided near the Tini waterfalls. The Atiwa District Chief Executive, Mr Kwasi Osei Agyepong, gave the assurance that the Assembly would enter into partnership with entrepreneurs to develop the tourist facilities in the area. The chief of Adasawase, Barima Kwame Tia, said chiefs in the area would support any initiative to develop the tourist sites since that would help put the area on the tourist map and generate income for the people.