Accra, Oct. 10, GNA - Ghanaians are expected to host the large number of tourists who would witness the 50th independence anniversary celebrations of the country, which falls on March 6, 2007. "We are expecting about one million foreign tourists in the country and the hotels alone cannot accommodate all of them, hence the need to make our homes available to make the stay of our brothers and sisters in Ghana enjoyable," Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and the Modernisation of the Capital City said on Monday.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra, he said Ghanaians who accepted to host tourists would feed and educate them about the country's culture and traditions, whilst their guests are expected to pay a token for their stay. Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the celebration would coincide with the official launching of the "Joseph Project".
The "Joseph Project", fashioned on the biblical story of Joseph, aims at facilitating what he called the "spiritual return" of the more than 30 million Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana. The project would among other objectives make the 21st century, the African century by reconciling African people so that their positive spirit and strength are released in a focused manner. It would start off with a gathering in Ghana of Africans in the Diaspora and chiefs from the West African coast whose predecessors were active in facilitating the slave trade to appease the returnees on behalf of their ancestors.
Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the innovation was part of the Strategic Action Plan of his sector Ministry to attract over one million tourists. He said Ghana needed more hotels, especially near tourist sites, to enable the tourism sector to achieve its vision in 2007. "It is for this reason that the Ministry is involved in encouraging investors to build the Hilton Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel and other hotels in the country to create a level of interest in the tourism industry by 2007," he said.