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05.10.2005 Travel & Tourism

Banks pledge to support tourism.

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Accra, Oct. 5, GNA - Mrs Margaret Mwanakatwe, Managing Director for Barclays Bank, on Wednesday pledged support for the tourism industry although it was perceived to be a high-risk investment area. She called on financial institutions to come together to establish a dedicated tourism development fund to provide money for the development of tourism.

She said the sector was perceived as a high-risk investment area because it was untried, unpredictable and unsustainable making financial institutions reluctant to invest in it.

Mrs Mwanakatwe was speaking at a day's seminar organized by the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Barclays Bank Limited. Participants at the seminar included private tour operators, financial institutions and insurance companies. Mrs Mwanakatwe said Barclays Bank could assist the sector in the areas of advisory services to help tourism sector operators to develop business plans that would attract funding.

She said the Bank also had a project finance team that gave assistance in structuring and arranging financing for large projects including the development of hotels and resorts.

Mr Moses Dani Baah, Deputy Minister of Private Sector Development, said the Government was working with Ghana Commercial Bank to provide credit facilities to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. He said a location incentive would also be given to operators in the rural areas as a means to generate employment and enhance the development of those areas.