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23.05.2006 General News

Endowment fund needed for the tourism sector - GATTA

By GNA

Accra, May 23, GNA - The Ghana Association of Travel and Tourism Agents (GATTA) on Tuesday announced plans to establish an endowment fund for the tourism sector since the industry needed capital to develop tourists' sites.

The establishment of a Tourism Fund, the Association said, would also boost activities in private sector tourism.

Mr Godwin Pinto, President of GATTA, said this when he met with members of the tourism press corps to explain a project dubbed "Golden Face of Ghana" aimed at promoting safe and responsible tourism in the country.

The project, which is in four phases, include a National Photographic Competition and Exhibition on May 30; a Travel Ghana Raffle to be launched in August; a Tourism Pageant to develop interest of the youth in tourism and the Endowment Fund, which would be created at the end of the Project.

Mr Pinto said the Project was the Association's humble contribution towards Ghana's major launch pad in 2007 to increase international visitors and tourism receipts.

"Ghana will be celebrating her 50th Independence Anniversary as well as 200 years of abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in 2007."

As part of the Project, some tourism sites, events and other products that are expressed in the diversity of Ghana's culture; rich history and the natural environment would be enhanced for tourism, Mr Pinto, who is also the Executive Director of Connect World Travel and Tours, said.

He said GATTA would facilitate the development and promotion of selected products for an initial period of two years to promote safe and responsible international tourism.

Mr. Pinto noted that there was a huge responsibility on the industry to create jobs, especially in the rural areas and to improve the quality of service to increase the number of visitors, as well as develop infrastructure development at various tourist sites. He urged various organizations to support the project and to help the tourism industry to grow, saying: "The tourism industry has the huge potential to eliminate poverty especially in the rural areas."

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