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20.10.2005 General News

We're working to ensure well-developed tourist infrastructure - Minister

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Accra, Oct. 20, GNA - Mr Jake Obestebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernisation of the Capital City, on Thursday said the Ministry would continue to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure a well-developed tourist infrastructure.

"Ghana cannot afford to provide sub-standard facilities and poor services to our numerous tourists if we have to remain competitive in this ever-growing sophisticated global tourism industry," he said. Speaking at the opening of the newly acquired secretariat of the Car Rentals Association of Ghana (CRAG), Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey, who was represented by his Deputy Mr Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, said the collaboration would also ensure that tourist products were well developed, packaged and marketed for patronage.

The opening of the Secretariat coincided with an award ceremony where CRAG presented plaques and certificates to individuals and organisations that had supported the Association.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey expressed the importance the Ministry attached to the establishment of the Secretariat, which, he said, would facilitate better communication between it and CRAG's membership, that would ultimately contribute to improved standards and provide quality services to tourists for repeat visits and increased revenue.

He entreated CRAG to provide the right orientation for all its drivers to ensure personal hygiene and improved communication skills. They should also educate them about Ghana and on driver-guide services.

Mr David Nana Anim, President of CRAG, said the Secretariat acquired for over 100 million cedis would serve as a one stop-shop for information about car rentals in particular and tourism as a whole. He said the acquisition of the new office was good news for members, who for the past 15 years of existence had been operating in a shared apartment.

Mr Anim expressed concern about recent carnage on our roads, which, he said, was already scaring tourists from visiting Ghana. He said they were duty bound to put their acts together with other road users and the Government to reverse the trend of accidents.

Mr Shigeru Sato, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Ghana Company Limited, expressed the hope that CRAG would stay focused and to continue to provide reliable, comfortable and safe services to their customers and tourists in particular.

Professor Albert Abane, Head of the Department of Geography and Tourism, University of Cape Coast, who chaired function, reiterated the need to provide rest stops and washroom facilities on highways and excursion routes to make travelling comfortable for visitors. Toyota Ghana Company Limited, Vanguard Assurance, Coconut Groove Hotel, Department of Geography and Tourism of the University of Cape Coast, Auto Parts Ghana Limited and other individuals received the awards.

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