The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, says the Ministry is seeking to take advantage of opportunities in diversifying and promoting tourist sites in rural communities to open up the communities for development.
She said this will translate into ending the national problem of rural-urban migration.
The Minister for Tourism said this at a durbar and exhibition in Takoradi to climax this year’s national World Tourism Day celebration in the Western Region.
“This year’s World Tourism Day celebration presents an opportunity for the promotion of rural development through tourism. It highlights the unique and important role that tourism can play in preserving and promoting natural and cultural heritage as well as curbing rural-migration through the provision of opportunities outside the cities. The significance of our rural communities for tourism or domestic tourism lies in the fact that they play a major role in protecting the tangible and intangible aspects of our cultural heritage as captured by the Ghana Tourism Authority’s marketing campaign [see Ghana, eat Ghana, wear Ghana and feel Ghana]. The diversification and promotion of tourism sites in rural communities would necessarily drive infrastructure developments and open up these communities for business along the entire tourism value chain.”
Barbara Oteng Gyasi said although Ghana’s Tourism Industry has been so much hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana is still expecting over 200,000 tourists in the country even as the fight against the pandemic rages on.
She also assured that the Takoradi Christmas Masquerade festival will be supported to feature as a key national tourism event on Ghana’s tourism calendar.
Also speaking at the durbar and exhibition to climax this year’s World Tourism Day in Takoradi, the Paramount Chief of Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia, said the Western Region is a sleeping giant for tourism which Ghana must take advantage of.
Nana. Nketsia however advised that tourism can only thrive in a peaceful environment hence elections must not stop the country to live in peace which includes the peace of the environment.
This year’s World Tourism Day was commemorated in Ghana in the Western Region on the theme, Tourism and Rural Development which focused on the opportunities tourism can offer to women and youth as well as rural development.
The event started with a virtual symposium and continued with health walk, tree planting, a sod-cutting for Damang Arts Training Centre and a Musical concert at Bogoso.
The climax of the day was held in Takoradi with a durbar and exhibition.