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24.11.2005 Travel & Tourism

Jake attends tourism conference in Dakar

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Accra, Nov. 24, GNA - Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, left Accra on Wednesday for the 16th Session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (WTO) scheduled for Dakar, Senegal from November 28. A six-member delegation from the Ministry and the Ghana Embassy in Spain accompanied the Minister.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency before his departure, the Minister said the World Tourism Organization Secretary-General would present a report on the situation of international tourism and the lessons that could be drawn from the organization and its members.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey would make a statement on the subject: "Sustainable Tourism and Elimination of Poverty (ST-EP)", which is geared towards urging member countries to adopt programmes that would not only create wealth thereby reducing poverty but also help in conserving the environment, local cultures and biodiversity with a view to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. He said particular reference could be made to the ST-EP foundation to support member countries in areas such as conducting research and development projects that aim at eliminating poverty through sustainable tourism development programmes and projects.

The Minister said Ghana's community-based eco-tourism projects qualified for such support.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey would also appeal to the WTO to intensify support to developing countries in the area of tourism education and training of human resources engaged in the tourism and hospitality industry towards maintaining standards and ensuring quality service delivery.

"The Organization's training consultants could be brought to help with the tourism and hospitality training academy initiatives earmarked for Eredec Hotel in Koforidua," he added.

The Minister said Ghana would sign a Memorandum of Understanding with member countries in the areas of tourism education and training as well as joint promotions of Africa's tourism products.

Another issue to be discussed would be the acronym of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), which conflicts with that of the World Trade Organization.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said indications are that the General Assembly would adopt the acronym UNWTO, that is, United Nations World Tourism Organization

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