For holistic National Tourism Legislation, Policy & Legal Regime to restore and promote growth momentum & reposition sector for unprecedented rapid holistic & inclusive national tourism growth & development
LEGISLATION and legal regimes as part and parcel of society are not static and events but work in progress that must be subjected to periodic reviews and amendments to be in tune with the changes and trends of the times.
The tourism industry since the turn of the millennium, over twenty (20) years ago, has been the biggest, largest and fastest growing industry in vogue globally, until the corona virus (covid-19) pandemic disruption in late 2019.
The outstanding and remarkable industry averagely records consistent increase growth annually, an average growth of over three percent (3%) and increase revenue output.
INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS AND RECIEPT. 2016-2019
Source: Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Directorate GTA/ GIS
Table below is statistics on Top Eight (8) prominent traffic destinations
Statistics sourced from Research, Monitoring & Evaluation (RME) Directoate, GTA
Statistics source –Research, Monitoring & Evaluation Directoate, GTA & GIS
The Ghanaian industry also sees and records increased growth in both visitor numbers and revenue receipts in tandem with global industry trends but way and far below its real capacity according to industry analysts and researchers.
Ghana’s average growth is a little over three (3%) and about five percent (5%) of the overall gross domestic product (GDP)
There are a number pieces of legislations that are relevant and applicable to the country’s tourism industry.
Key among these are the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA), Tourism Development Fund , (TDF) and the Tourism Act ,(TA), 2011 Act 817 and the National Commission on Culture, (NCC) and the culture Law 1990, PNDCL 238 as well as the Cultural Policy (CP) and Culture Trust Fund (CTF),2004.
Others included the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) Act 1969, NLCD 387, National Film Authority (NFA) and the Film Classification Act 2016, Act 935, the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and Creative Arts Fund (CAF) Act 2020.
An in-depth analysis of the country’s tourism industry growth and performance points to inconsistences , errors and omissions such as obsolete tourism legislation and legal regime, duplications among the sector ministry, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) and its implementing agencies.
fragmentation and mandate over key and strategic national tourism resources by allied ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), poor public funding and low national budgetary allocation to tourism, lack of unique national tourism brand image, inconsistent packaging and promotional (marketing) strategy and high national ignorance and lack of national appreciation on and about tourism and its importance to socio-economic development and the rest are identified challenges that obstruct and impede Ghana’s tourism growth, development.
Legislation and legal regimes (LLRs) are very essential and crucial for the health of professions and vocations including tourism in the world, however, our Homeland has never had and does not have national tourism legislation (NTL), the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 does not qualify to be designated as National Tourism Act (NTA), it is best suitable and labelling as the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Tourism Development Levy (TDL) Act.
National Tourism Legislation & Legal Regime
Other tourism related pieces of legislation which include the State Lands Act1962,Act 125, the Wild Animals Preservation Act 1963, Act 43, the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) Act 1969, NLCD 387, the National Commission on Culture (NCC) Law 1990, PNDCL 238, the Culture and Policy 2004,the Chieftaincy Act 2008, the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817, the National Film Authority (NFA) and the Film Development Fund Act 2016, Act 935 as well as the Creative Arts Agency (CAA) and the Creative Arts Development Fund (CADF) Act 2020, are obsolete and fraught with fragmentation as well as duplicative, there is therefore the urgent need to review, consolidate, reconcile and harmonize all these fragmented enactments into a single legal document as well as improved and expanded into a modern national tourism legislation and legal regime (LLR) ,to reengineer, reposition and recalibrate the tourism sector for accelerated growth and rapid development and evolution.
Let’s evolve ICOMFATOURDD Principle Model
. Review & restore repealed Tourism Location Incentive (LI) 1817, 2005, to expand & transform Eco-Tourism Project to champion tourism development, revive, improve & restore repealed Location Incentive & propound new tourism development model as global study
TOURISM is no rocket science but scientific artificial intelligence (AI) , shrewder creativity, innovation and robust activation are unique soft tourism intangible assets (STIAs), special and soft activation unique (SSAU) skills that transform and reposition destinations into prominence as popular, strategic, sustainable and attractive destinations in the evergreen and competitive international tourism evolution.
The post covid-19 national restoration and reconstruction has presented us a unique and rare opportunity to adopt robust and effortless strategies to find the missing links in our tourism fundamentals, to reposition and propel Ghana into prominence as international tourism model and study case.
The erstwhile Ghana Tourist Board, (GTB) predecessor to the Ghana Tourism Authority, (GTA), in 2002/2003 selected some unique attractions across the country a novel project called Community-based Eco-Tourism (Eco-Tourism) Project.
The project received high commendation and impressive patronage, where patrons had fulfilled cultural exchanges and immensely contributed to environmental conservation as well as addresses climate change challenges, it was a very huge success.
The novel Eco-Tourism project selected fifteen (15) outstanding and remarkable destinations across the country as pilot projects.
The fourteen CBEPs were the Amedzofe, Tagbo Waterfalls, Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary, Xavi Bird Watching Sanctuary, Wassa Domama Rock Shrine, Bunsu Arboretum, Bobiri Forest and Butterfly Sanctuary,Tano Sacred Groove, Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Wehiau Hippo Sanctuary and Paga Crocodile Ponds . Others included Widnaba, Tongo Hills and Tengzug Shrines and the Sirigu Pottery and Art.
The project was a strategic between then Ghana Tourist Board, predecessor to Ghana Tourism Authority and Nature Conservation Research Centre (NCRC), an environmental NGO and funded by GTB, USAID, Peace Corps-Ghana and SNV Netherland Development Organization and the project host communities.
The project undertook visitor facility improvement and improved marketing as well as capacity building for and at the selected destinations.
The project was later abandoned as a result of lack of counterpart funding from the government of Ghana.
Revive, transform & invent ICOMFATOURDD Ghanaian UNWTO Model
Threats from climate change and global warming, threat to biodiversity and aquatic life and environment, beach and marine pollution, environmental conservation and protection are real and more pronounced now more than we could ever imagine, whilst tourism an outstanding conservation catalyst an exposed best practice synonymous with responsible and sustainable tourism development and evolution principles anchored on repeat visitor and tourist visits (RTVVs) UNWTO Conventions, best practice guidelines ,regulations and rules.
Ghanaian invented UNWTO Model
The above reasons all justify and support the importance and the need to review, reevaluate, improve , expand revive and transform and the abandoned Eco-Tourism project better reengineered, recalibrated and transformed into an improved all new Indigenous Community-Facility/Attraction Tourism Owned-Destination Development (ICOM-FATOURDD) model, as a Ghanaian invented tourism development concept model , promoted across the world , to propel new international indigenous tourism development model, deserving and worthy of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) investigation and designation as best practice case in indigenous international tourism development model (IITDM), active attraction and destination active host community ownership and its active involvement is very essential, indispensable and crucial in responsible, vibrant and attractive tourism development, growth and evolution, we could be on our way into international prominence as global centre of excellence in tourism potential harnessing if invest into and execute the IFATOUR strategy with precision and perfection , and become a new UNWTO discovery international model (DIM) case study , just as Maldives covid-19 case.
The ICOM-FATOURDD strategy and model, like local economic development (LED) model at the local governance and decentralization front, would also diversify and expand Ghana’s tourism offerings, in order to attract tourists of varying backgrounds and interests, to as well reap other associated socio-economic benefits of conservation, alternative jobs, poverty alleviation and others. It would unconsciously promote host community facility ownership, conservation, preservation as well as sanitation around destinations and attractions.
Tourism Facility Location Incentive 1817, (Tourism Promotion) LI1817, 2005, was a novel strategy, which was championed and promoted by fallen former Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations (MOTDR), Mr. Jake Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey , which offers various incentives including tax holidays to tourism industry investors (TII), to locate their businesses at noted and defined destinations, to consciously promote balance national tourism development as well as a painless strategy to discourage and decongest Accra- Bolgatanga-Cape Coast-Kumasi -Tamale- Sekondi-Takoradi –Sunyani cities of further congestion with tourism facilities with an existing chaotic national cities dilemma.
LI1817, 2005 was instant remarkable success which recorded increased location of facilities away from the identified cities and other unsung and lesser patronized destinations including Highway Rest-stops of Lindador, Okwenya, Techiman, Elubo and others across the country.
LI1817, 2005 was hurriedly and indiscretionally repealed and revoked in 2009 over alleged cases of abuses, with applying sanctions as provided in the law, killing businesses of many genuine and honest tourism industry investors.
There is the need to review, reevaluate, improved and restore the two most tourism sector novel policies of Eco-Tourism and LI1817, 2005 Location Incentive, reposition and use tourism, unsung evergreen socio-economic game changer, as a catalyst to address challenges of environmental conservation, climate change, global warming and accelerate national tourism development and evolution, for inclusive and holistic overall national socio-economic development.
Know the Tourism Act, 2011, Act 817 (1)
. The Legal Regime that promotes & propels National Tourism Development Aspirations
Enactments and legal regime are crucial intangible and soft resources and assets that propel the growth, development and evolution of professions and vocations including tourism in the world.
The enactment and legal regime on our statues as our current national tourism legislation and national tourism legal framework that is applicable to the promotion, regulation and control of the country evergreen infant tourism industry is the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817.
The law was enacted ten (10) years ago, after a thorough and rigorous parliamentary processes and procedures as a law, as the procedure and the process demands and eventually received presidential assent as a full-fledged and binding national law on 4th May, 2011.
The Law created the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as the statutory national tourism regulator, with a sixteen (16)-point mandate.
The Law in section four (4) provided and created an 11-Member Governing Body for the Authority, consisting of representatives from the private sector, which chairs the Board and others from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), GTA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), ministries of finance and economic planning (MOFEP),local government , rural development and decentralization (MOLGR&D),lands and natural resources (MOLNR),chieftaincy and religious affairs (MOC&RA) and environment, science ,technology and innovation (MOESTI).
The enactment in section three gave GTA a sixteen-point guideline and tasks it, to implement to attain its objectives, among include to implement and ensure compliance to regulations developed in accordance with the Act, grant licences for the tourism industry, regulate and supervise tourism enterprises, as well as regulate and monitor the activities of licensees. The law mandates GTA to initiate, conduct, promote and encourage studies for the growth and development of the tourism industry.
Additionally, the law tasked the Authority to ensure pro-poor, sustainable and responsible tourism development in the country. It further imposed on GTA the responsibility to develop standards and guidelines for designs for use at tourist attractions and enterprises to reflect Ghanaian culture. The need
to take appropriate measures for the safety and security of consumers of the tourism industry and the
collection, compilation and publication of information and statistics in respect of activities regulated under this act as well as advise the Minister of Tourism on policy issues generally on matters related to the tourism industry are other demands that the law imposed on the Ghana Tourism Authority.
Other GTA responsibilities as provided by the law are to identify and acquire suitable land for tourism development as well as perform any other functions incidental or conducive to the attainment of the object of the Authority as frontline and key responsibilities that the Tourism Act imposed on the Authority
Tourism Development Fund
The Law in section Twenty-One (21) created the Tourism Development Fund (TDF), “there is established by this Act a Tourism Development Fund, with the object of the Fund is to provide funding for tourism and tourism-related projects and programmes. To achieve the object of the Fund, moneys from the Fund shall be applied for relevant tourism activities as the Board may determine including in particular marketing and promotion of tourism, capacity building, market research and development of tourism infrastructure, development and promotion of other entrepreneurial activities, tourism export trade-oriented activities of institutions; and tourism education and training.
Tourism Public –Private Partnership Forum
Section Forty-Two (42) of the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 vividly captures the importance of the tourism private sector and effectively provided thus,” there shall be a Public-Private Partnership Forum (PPPF), to encourage public-private partnerships, to promote tourism development opportunities, the Forum shall be organized by the Ministry in collaboration with the GTA and the private sector.”
The tourism sector has an effective private sector which is organized under the banner of Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF). GHATOF is the trade association of all tourism trade associations in the country.
Mrs. Bella Ahu, a seasoned tourism practitioner is the current president of GHATOF.
Regional & District Offices
Sections fifteen (15) and sixteen (16) of the law provided and created GTA regional (GTAROs) and district (GTADOs) offices of the Authority respectively, who perform functions determined by the GTA Board.
Need to create Tourism ID for Ghana
BRANDS (identification) and branding are very essential and important in the life of institutions, humans, towns, communities and societies everywhere in the world.
Brands and branding become more pronounced, super important and indispensable in very competitive, modern and very sensitive industry as tourism.
Tourism is a multi-sectoral and a multi-billion modern and competitive industry t is founded on natural, man-made, cultural and heritage resources.
Ghana has unique and remarkable tourism potential, where political stability and Ghana’s world rated warm hospitality also standout and offers the country competitive advantage.
However, Ghana has not recorded remarkable and outstanding gains in the tourism especially from 1993 to date when the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC), was created, neither has any unique and attractive brand identification (ID) as an attractive, competitive and compelling destination.
US$6 billion revenue target
Let us therefore take a cue from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Africa tourism post covid-19 recovery branding and domestic tourism, recovery roadmap to brand and rebrand the country with an attractive tourism identification, to reposition the country, especially as Dr. Alhaji Awal Ibrahim Mohammed the new Minister for MoTAC disclosed at his vetting an ambitious plan to ensure the country earns over US$ 6 billion from tourism receipts per annum by 2024.
The national tourism branding and rebranding activity must reposition the country and promote rapid national tourism development on sound UNWTO protocols, best industry practices, conventions, regulations, rules and principles.
MOTAC as MOTOURD
The exercise must also consider the possibility of rebranding and realigning currently the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) as Ministry of Tourism & Rural Development (MOTOURD), since a chunk of tourism resources are un-documented and neglected are found mostly in the rural area, a new name would offer a new determined national tourism development energy with a new and dynamic and goal getter minister.
Our overall national tourism development trajectory has witnessed and undergone several phases and narrations, especially since the creation of an autonomous Ministry for the sector, beginning as the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), in 1993, through the Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City (MOTMCC), Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations (MOTDR) , Ministry of Tourism , Culture and Creative Arts (MOTACC) and up to present as, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC).
Also, since many unique and attractive but undocumented and unharnessed tourism resources are found in the rural areas across the country, additionally the realignment would go a long way to strategically reposition the tourism sector, for increase, inclusive, holistic and balance national development and growth, as well as boast national policy strategies towards poverty alleviation, inclusive growth and development, the realignment is very justifiable and appropriate.
Additionally, MOTAC and the GTA, must court and whip all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to embrace, prioritise and invest in tourism development.
MOTAC and the GTA must consider steps to create Destination Discovery Innovation and Activation (DDIA) units to, effectively collaborate and support and collaborate MMDAs with technical know-how, to identify and harness their tourism potential, as outstanding and attractive autonomous destinations within overall national tourism brand regime.
The Ministry and its implementing agencies, especially the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) must operationalize the law on District Offices (GTADOs) as provided by section 16 of the Tourism Act 2011,Act 817, using very robust and proactive and effective decentralized tourism development regime strategy , using and with all MMDAs, and their various Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs), as the main key stakeholders and frontline agents, which would inure as well as promote inclusive, holistic and balance national development , since each and every assembly has one key tourism strength or the other, an effective decentralized strategy would more so showcase development conscious MMDCEs/ MMDAs and their innovative prowess as they compete to harness their individual tourism potential , to reposition themselves as attractive tourism destinations and hubs internally across the country which would ultimately shape robust, effective and vibrant all year round national tourism industry and an authentic brand with attractive and alternative sub-brands, which would above all address overcrowding and congestion challenges associated with popular destinations.
Mini- and sub-brands
When the Ministry adopts a very robust decentralised tourism development strategy, and succeeds in encouraging all MMDAs and MMDCEs to embrace and invest a percentage of their District Assembly Common Fund allocation into tourism development with technical assistance and support from the ministry , it can quickly transform the assemblies as attractive and an outstanding mini destination clusters, zones and circuits within the national brand and usher the country into the path of an accelerated and rapid tourism growth which would also transform the country into an attractive and prominent global tourism hub and model destination.
Decentralist regime & MMDCEs
Additionally a very robust holistic , innovative, strategic, effective and creative national tourism development regime structure, with all MMDAs, and their MMDCEs, as key frontline agents, it would ensure and consciously promote an accelerated, balance and inclusive national socio-economic development , since tourism is a pragmatic pro-poor and labour intensive industry that support both skilled and unskilled labour , tourism development is the surest antidote to the ever-growing unemployment and the rural-urban migration ticking time bomb.
Strategic and decentralized tourism development strategy would also offer all assemblies reliable and alternative revenue sources to improve upon as well as boast their revenue bases, especially the internally generated funds (IGF) of the MMDAs in the country.
Tourism Development and its evolution is indeed an indispensable socio-economic game changer which must not remain unsung and neglected but given prominence in the front burner.
It is high time we rethink tourism development, as an unconditional support for the new leadership at MOTAC, let us resolve to re-strategize, reposition, brand and promote the country as an outstanding and attractive tourism destination, to enable us appropriate our fair share if not the lion’s share of the global tourism market share and revenue, to prosecute other capital-intensive national projects.
Slavery, Colonization, Missionary Landmarks
. Ghana’s Forgotten Cash-cow Landmarks
HISTORY is an important part of humanity, mankind and society. History and historic conscious societies are smart development conscious, progressive and proactive in all endeavours.
Africa has an enduring bitter history, particularly her relationship with early European explorers, traders, colonizers and missionaries among others.
This painful history, especially Africa’s slavery and missionary past with Europe has come a modern cash cow as new and modern scholars from across Africa and Europe research and interrogate important and historic slavery and missionary landmarks including forts and castles, slave markets and trading centres, mission houses, church buildings among others which are very prominent along the Atlantic Coast.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Paris , New York based UN specialist agency in partnership with other sister UN specialist agencies and multilateral institutions including United Nations World Tourism Organization, (UNWTO), the World Tourism and Travel Council, (WTCC), World Intellectual Property Organization, (WIPO),World Trade Organization (WTO) have according designated and inscribed all colonial and slavery forts and castles as World Heritage Properties, for conservation, preservation and research studies.
These historic colonial forts and castles are modern tourism cash cows that attract considerable high patronage and tourism traffic especially from the African- American Diaspora, who are mostly slavery victims eager and curious to trace their origins, their descendants, academicians, researchers, students, general tourism fanatics among others.
Tourism Regions, Districts, Circuits, Enclaves & or Zone Destinations …
Focus on Anloga District Assembly
Anloga Assembly Chooses Tourism to accelerate Development
NATIONAL decentralization policy and its main foremost frontline executing agencies are Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and their strategic stakeholders including traditional authorities and traditional leaders, opinion leaders, civil society organizations, (CSO), faith-based organizations,(FBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other identified groups’ ultimate common goal is to champion and drive indigenous- need-based inclusive and holistic accelerated national development , hence innovate strategies including bye-laws, composite budgeting, local economic development (LED), one-district-one-factory (1D-1F) among others are adopted and implemented vigorously and pragmatically to attain the aspirations, aims and objects of the national decentralization programme, policy and strategy.
Mr.Seth Yormewu ADA DCE, a tourism development conscious infant assembly
Exclusive information available to the BFT tourism desk from Anloga, the District Capital (DC) of the Anloga District Assembly (ADA), has led to the conclusion that the young assembly has prioritized tourism development as well as determined to use as a bait to promote the area’s accelerated and rapid development and growth and become an attractive and competitive vibrant prominent tourism destination locally, nationally and internationally.
The ADA according to the information has accordingly drafted a fifteen (15)-year district wide tourism development plan as its tourism harnessing blueprint.
Portions of the blueprint seek to transform the Anloga District, a very remarkable area, virtually an island settlement with unique physical features including the Gulf of Guinea, long stretch of clean beaches, lagoons, mangroves, wetlands, coconut plantations and unique indigenous and migratory birdlife among others to transform the area into an attractive classic international eco-tourism destination in the country and beyond.
The District which is also home to Anloga the traditional Capital of the Anlo Ewes further intends to transform the hogbetsotso festival, a very popular cultural and traditional festival for the Anlos, which is celebrated annually in November to remember and reenactment the migration of the forbearers of the Anlos from Nortse in the present day Republic of Togo, to escape the tyranny of a very wicked and ruthless called King Agorkorli to their present abode would also be transformed into an international cultural festival.
The topography of the Anloga District is dominated by the Gulf of Guinea, the River Volta, beach, birdlife, wetlands, savanna grasslands and mangroves, slavery and colonization historic landmarks among others.
The ADA area has a number of star rated hospitality and catering facilities to provide for the catering and accommodation needs of visitors to the area and beyond.
Notable among them include the Chill at Tunu, Eli Hotel at Tegbi, Abutia Guest House at Woe, Max Guest House at Tegbi, Hotel de White House at Anloga, Twins Lodge Hotel at Tegbi, Larota Guest House at Tegbi, Pin Drop Hotel at Anloga, Dzigbordi Lodge at Anloga, Meet Me There African lodge at Dzita, Mai Victory GH at Whuti, My Lord’s Guesthouse at Anloga, Mamasay Homestay at Srogbe. There are Sekina Glory, Sogakope Beach Resort, Villa Cisneros, Holy Trinity and SPA Farm and Waterfront Paradise Resort, Volta View,Villago Aborigines Beach Resorts, Canopy of God , Queens View facilities and others at nearby Sagakope and Keta respectively.
The Anloga District Assembly (ADA) is among the new and the country’s political administrative units. It was created by Legislative Instrument (LI) 2372, 2018 from the Keta Municipality Assembly (KMA).
Slavery monument at Atorkor, Anloga District
ADA was inaugurated on 19th February 2019, with Anloga as its District Capital (DC), and has Mr. Seth Yormewu as the Anloga District Chief Executive (DCE).
ADA is located east of the Volta estuary, about 160km to the east of Accra, off the Accra-Aflao main road and lies within Longitudes 0.53E and 0.89W and Latitudes 5.47N and 5.79S. It shares common borders with Keta Municipality to the east, South Tongu District to the west, Akatsi South district to the North and the Gulf of Guinea to the south.
Meet me there African Lodge at Dzita
The Writer is Tourism & Brands Analyst, Advocate & Activist.