Yaa Naa Andani Yakubu Abdulai has called for extensive investments to boost domestic tourism, arguing that the sector holds much promise for the nation’s post-pandemic recovery.
Yaa Naa made the appeal when Dr. Mohammed Awal, Minister for Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture paid a courtesy call on him at his palace. The call forms part of the Minister’s visit to the Northern sector to assess the state of the tourism sector within that jurisdiction, and to seek stakeholder consultation on the challenges on the measures required to enhance the sector.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the management of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), had earlier had an extensive tour of the Upper East region before commencing the tour in the Northern Region. The Dagbon overlord bemoaned the lip-service which has been paid to the sector by successive administrations, noting that many key tourist sites lie derelict, as a result of years of neglect.
He also expressed unhappiness at the manner in which foreigners – who ironically have a better appreciation of these sites – are able to profit from pictures taken from the sites, whilst indigenes stare idly.
Citing how state support aids tourism in other jurisdictions, he said: “You would realise that day in and out, many foreigners visit the country and when asked, they say, they contributed to embark on the tour and their government gave them the opportunity to embark on the trip.
When you come to Africa, it is difficult for people to be able to travel out of the country to embark on a tour of which many sneak to other places and never return to the country,” he explained.
The Yaa Naa once again congratulated the Minister on his appointment to the office of Tourism Ministry and thanked the President for the confidence reposed in a son of the region.
The sector minister, on his part, thanked the Yaa Naa for his advice and gave assurance his concerns had been duly noted and urgent measures would be taken to address issues raised. “This is why I am touring the sites to ascertain the problem and come out with measures that would help develop the sector to create more jobs and revenue for the country,” he stated.