Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has implored the new management board of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to work assiduously on deepening the country’s tourism gains going forward.
The GTA, the lead implementing agency of policies and initiatives of the Tourism Ministry, has been at the forefront of key strategies which have led to positioning Ghana as the desired destination for tourism and investment from the diaspora.
Notable initiatives including the ‘Year of Return’ in 2019 and its follow-up strategy ‘Beyond the Return’, a 10-year policy initiative that has been designed by the ministry and the GTA, have been touted by industry stakeholders as a key approach to continuously keep the conversation on Ghana’s relationship with investment from the diaspora going.
Dr. Awal, addressing the board, said the ministry’s vision is to make tourism the number-one contributor to GDP in the next three years – despite the bites and effects of the pandemic.
“This means that we must have in excess of US$5billion every year in tourism receipts from 2022, and the expectation from the Presidency is high on this agenda,” he said.
This agenda, Dr. Awal said, comes with no negotiation – and the board’s maximum input and contribution is needed to make the plans a reality.
The ministry and GTA are counting on domestic tourism and international visitors to increase visitor numbers into the country.
The ministry is currently targetting an increase in domestic tourist arrivals to 600,000 by 2022 and to one million by 2024. International tourist arrivals are also projected to increase from the current 180,000 to 400,000 by 2024.
Dr. Awal asked the board to work together as a team and draw up strategies that will consolidate and build on the industry’s gains.
Chairman of the board, Charles Osei Bonsu – a former CEO of GTA and the president’s nominee to the board – assured the minister of the board’s maximum support through policies and strategies to further enhance the sector’s achievements.
He appreciated the confidence reposed in members by the president, and assured the minister of the board’s commitment to its duties.
“We know the challenges which confront the GTA, including the need to grow the tourism development fund, recovery of arrears, establishment of offices in the newly created regions, safety and security issues, infrastructure and the need to generate more revenues to develop the sector among several others,” Mr. Osei Bonsu said.
Members of the board
Members of the board include, Akwasi Agyeman – CEO of GTA; John Yao Agbeko – representative of the Ministry of Tourism; Madam Eva Esselba Mends – representative from the Finance Ministry; Samuel Seth Passah – representative from the Ministry Local Government; Madam Fati Lily Soale – representative from the Chieftaincy Ministry; Mohammed Abdul Karim – representative from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources; Madam Cecilia Sheitu Nyadia – representative of Ministry of Environment; Gbati Jacob Najombe – President’s nominee; Mrs. Dentaa Amoateng MBE – President’s nominee; and Madam Comfort Yamoah – President’s nominee.