Accra Nov. 13, GNA - Domestic Tourism generates more income than international tourism hence the need for government to work closely with Trade Unions to promote domestic tourism, Mr Owusu Amoakohene, Research Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City has said.
He said if more people are encouraged to visit tourist sites there will be more income to residents of such communities that would also mean economic growth for the community.
Mr Amoakohene's observations were contai ned in the ninth edition of the Tourism Data Series, a monthly data issued by the sector ministry to inform stakeholders and the general public about trends in tourism development in Ghana.
He said domestic tourism could be a valuable training ground for entering the international market, adding that domestic tourism in its current capacity had the potential to save foreign exchange and redistribute wealth in the country.
He noted that there was the need for the country to develop activities that would make visiting of tourists' sites worthwhile. "We need to develop activities that would encourage visitors to stay at destinations for more that a day, that way communities will get tourists to spend more," he said.
Mr Amoakohene called for the development of a system of data and information gathering on domestic tourism to position partners in the industry to talk critically about it to enable an objective assessment of domestic tourism in Ghana.
According to the data, in 2004, over 27, 000 out of a total of 36,000 people who visited the Cape Coast Castle were Ghanaians, similarly 77 per cent of visitors to the Elmina Castle were Ghanaian and 76 percent of visitors to the Kakum National Park were Ghanaians. Mr Amoakohene proposed the formation of tourism clubs, thus organizing excursions for workers and students and called on tour operators to develop packages for Ghanaians who want to escape the hustle of city life to local tourism sites.
"Ghana is well endowed with abundant natural and scenic, historic and cultural as well as recreational attractions, which provide a fruitful ground for a well developed domestic tourism industry," the researcher said.