Tourism Ministry Designs Development Plan

The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has fashioned out a 15-year national tourism development plan for the tourism sector. It is expected to contribute 5.7 per cent, representing $8 billion, to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2027. The sector Minister, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, made this known when she launched the 10th edition of the National Tourism Awards (NTA) to reward excellent performance in the tourism sector and encourage competition among industry players. She did not give details of the plan but said the successful implementation of the proposal would contribute to revenue generation and national development efforts. The NTA is expected to take place on November 28, 2014. The awards Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the awards were instituted to reward deserving industry practitioners and stakeholders who demonstrated excellence in their operations and had shown commitment to the development and growth of Ghana’s tourism industry. She said the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) had contributed significantly to service quality and that was being complemented by other measures designed to institute a good service culture as a hallmark of tourism in Ghana. “It is in this connection that the ministry is taking steps to restructure the Hotel Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) to train the essential manpower required for the sector.” The ministry had also re-launched a Grand Domestic Tourism Programme (GDTP), dubbed “Explore Ghana”, under which people would tour various attraction sites in the country, she added. Mrs Ofori-Adjare explained that the NTA had provided a platform for healthy competition, networking, socialising and interaction among tourism practitioners and other key industry stakeholders. New awards In his address, the acting Director of the GTA, Mr Charles Osei Bonsu, said Tourism Personality, Host of the Year and International Airline of the Year had been added to the categories of awards. Other awards are Best Association, Best Website and Social Network Marketing Campaign. According to him, the theme for this year’s NTA is, “Harnessing our Tourism Resources for National Development”. Selection of winners The Events Manager at the GTA, Mr Ben Anane Nsiah, said the NTA would begin in all regions of the country. He explained that the criteria for the selection of winners were conformity to laid down classification standards, statutory regulations and fulfilment of environmental and sanitation standards. Others were corporate social responsibility, positive corporate image and workplace safety standards.