Local Industries asked to improve products

Artisans in the Upper East Region whose products are of tourist interest have been advised to use their creativity to improve on their design and quality.

The Bolga baskets, hats, smocks and leather works could be modified not only to make them more beautiful but also to satisfy the demands of consumers of all ages and social status, Dr. Nana Baa Wiredu, Deputy Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) gave the advice at the weekend.

Dr. Nana Wiredu, who is also the Chairman of the Central Planning Committee of the United Nations World Tourism Organization, was speaking at an awareness creation programme with stakeholders in the tourism industry.

It was organized by the Upper East branch of the GTB to sensitize them to be able to benefit from the World Tourism Day, scheduled for next month in Accra.

The UNWTO has selected Ghana among its 135 member countries to host this year’s World Tourism Day, under the theme, “Tourism – Celebrating Diversity,” and every region is expected to showcase its tourism potentials.

Nana Baa Wiredu noted that it was possible to market the locally woven thick fabric, the Fugu, used for smocks, in some Eastern and Southern African countries where the weather is colder and promised to follow this up for the weavers.

He said local clothes would also be exhibited and suggested to caterers to make good use of the old recipes to cook foods that would not only fill stomachs but provide nutrients and some medicinal value for the body.

He urged tour guides to rehearse the historical background of all the tourists’ attraction centres to enable them to present them with confidence and pride, stressing that every region had its unique valuable traditional objects.

“You do not need to fumble or be ashamed of anything, you should present all historical facts as they are and give the true explanations of events or cultural practices with pride and confidence because our grandfathers had good reason for doing what they did and instituted for their time and future generations,” he told them.

Mr. Alphonse Kumaza, Secretary of the Planning Committee, UNWTO, said tourism was the third largest income earner for the country and it distributed wealth across board, therefore, stakeholders must actively participate in the event.

Pre-event tours, dubbed, “Know Your Country”, which would involve all regions, would start on September one, while the ceremony would be opened officially on Sept. 22 with the exhibition lasting until September 26.

There would be a Tourism Conference on the 23rd and 24th and a Gastronomy Fair, on September 25. Official tours, musical concerts, workshops and quiz competitions would also take place with many of the member countries represented.

The visiting team of the Planning Committee, UNWTO, appealed to the coordinating councils, district and municipal assemblies and Members of Parliament to collaborate with the various regional offices of the GTB to organize befitting presentations of their regions.

Madam Mary M. Agangmikre, the Upper East Regional Manager of GTB, urged all in the hospitality business to keep their places clean and beautiful as many visitors would patronise them.

She noted that such a big event would give every region the opportunity that could make or mar its name in the world of tourism, adding that a good impression would attract more tourists.

Source: GNA

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