The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, is courting media support to boost tourism in the country.
Tourism, one of fastest-growing industries in the country, contributed US$2.1billion to the economy in 2021, and was estimated to have generated about US$2.3billion by the end of the year 2022, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors.
Mr. Okraku said the support of the media is needed to highlight key tourist attraction sites across the country so as to attract more tourists, both internal and external.
The Volta Region alone recorded 27,795 tourists and generated a revenue of GH₵281,527 in 2021; and in 2022, the region saw a boost in tourist numbers, reaching a total of 44,676 visitors and generating a revenue of GH₵626,282.
Mr. Okraku reiterated the importance of dedicating more coverage to cultural activities and traditional ceremonies, such as festivals, religious ceremonies and cultural performances through live coverage, documentary, and editorial features.
He urged media organisations to put in place policies that give priority to culture and tourism to help preserve and promote traditions for future generations.
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture also noted that over the past three years, Africans from the diaspora have come to Ghana and some continue to come. He therefore sees the need to leverage the power of the media, as a tool, to make the culture of the nation propel economic development.
He therefore commended the media for initiatives, such as the Waakye Summit, Akple and the Gobe Festival, held recently to throw more light on local delicacies.
Tourism offers great opportunities for emerging economies and developing countries. It creates jobs, strengthens the local economy, contributes to local infrastructure development, can help to conserve the natural environment and cultural assets and traditions, and reduce poverty and inequality.
Governments that rely on tourism for a big percentage of their revenue invest a lot in the infrastructure of the country. That is why government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MoTAC), has invested up to GH¢350million to modernise tourist attractions and embark on product development to enhance the sector’s fortunes.
The most significant contribution of the tourism and hospitality industry in any country or region is the immediate creation of new jobs.