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19.01.2006 Travel & Tourism

Ghana to host international tourism congress


Accra, Jan. 19, GNA - Ghana would host the 31st African Travel Association International Congress and Trade Show between April 30 and May 5, 2006.

The congress is expected to attract about 500 participants drawn from the United States of America, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Gambia, Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Morocco, Egypt and Libya. Mr Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey, Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, at the Launch of the Congress on Thursday said Ghana's host day was scheduled for May 3 and participants would visit Cape Coast in the Central Region to tour the Cape Coast Castle, Kakum National Park and attend a durbar of chiefs.

He said the Congress would help the country to reposition herself as a "must go" destination using the tenets of the "Joseph Project" to be launched in 2007.

The "Joseph Project" is aimed at facilitating the return of about 30 million Africans in the Diaspora to Ghana.

The African Travel Association (ATA) is a non-profit, non-political and educational international travel industry association for Africa established in 1957 to promote tourism in Africa.

The ATA, whose membership comprises African government tourism organizations, international airlines, hotels and tour operators, holds annual congresses and trade shows at selected African destinations and the United States of America to provide first-hand information and enable members to share personal experience.

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey said the Congress would provide a forum for African Tourism Ministers to meet and deliberate on issues concerning tourism development in Africa.

"We have chosen to host this Congress also as a forerunner to the forthcoming 50th independence anniversary of in 2007."

He said the Sector Ministry would develop contacts with United States tour operators thereby increasing group tours to Ghana and updating tourists on the country's developmental plans and programmes. The Minister announced that the formation of a National Planning Committee chaired by the Mr Stephen Asamoah Boateng, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, to put necessary logistics together for the success of the Congress.