“Just as businesses are trooping to Ghana to have their share of the oil discovery, we must also show the same enthusiasm in the tourism industry to promote and project the good image of our beloved country,” she said.
Speaking at the opening of the a two-day capacity building workshop for members of GHATOF in Accra, Mrs Appenteng said when the Tourism Bill is passed by Parliament it would pave the way for the establishment of a Tourism Fund.
The Fund, she explained, would help market Ghana properly and make it easier for the private sector to fall in line for the development of the industry.
The workshop organized by Ghana Employers’ Association (GEA) and sponsored by DANIDA is aimed at improving the advocacy capacity of the executives of small business associations and enhance growth and development of the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs for the generation of employment at the local level.
Participants would be looking at small business standards, business development services, financial management principles, promoting and marketing of products and services, as well a resource mobilization.
Mrs Appenteng listed lack of access to funding and lack of education as some of the critical challenges facing the industry and called on the media to help promote tourism by offering some space and air time that would educate and talk about tourist attraction centres in the country where people could go for pleasure.
Mr Humphrey Kuma, Director of Policy Planning Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Tourism who read a speech on behalf of the in-coming Minister, Mrs Zita Okaikoi, said government had put in measures and initiatives for private sector investment.
Government, she noted, had decided to pursue other initiatives that would enhance competence and capacity through the provision of business support and training, extension of micro-credit, venture capital and export credit facilities to businesses.
Mr Alex Frempong, Chief Executive Officer of GEA, said the tourism sector needed their skills to be upgraded since change was constant in the industry.