Tourism Ministry launches project to boost domestic tourism
A project that aims at making school children, especially those in deprived communities, know the country through educational tours was inaugurated on Thursday in Accra.
The project dubbed: “My School Travels Project” would among other things promote domestic children and help the children to know about their environment through such tours.
Mr Humphrey Kuma, a Director at the Ministry of Tourism, who read a speech on behalf of the Minister, Mrs Zita Okaikoi, lauded the project saying domestic tourism was the bedrock to international tourism.
“Tourists are attracted more to countries where the local people are more organised and know a lot of the country,” he said.
Introducing the Project Management Board, Mr Joseph Kwadwo Afari-Yeboah, Executive Co-ordinator of the project, said about 2,000 children had so far benefited from the project and expressed the hope that it would be expanded to cover the whole country.
He said children who were involved in the project also had the opportunity to engage in tree planting with the support of the Forestry Commission to help in the country’s aforestation programme.
Mr Afari-Yeboah said one challenge the project faced was sustainability, since school children selected to be on the tour did not pay anything.
“We are therefore planning to approach corporate organisations to help us to sustain the project,” he said.
Ms Lydia Asala, a member of the Board and a representative from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, advised that the project should add a cultural component, explaining that tourism goes with culture and it is important that children learned the Ghanaian culture through such a project.
“Adding a cultural component will make the project complete,” she stressed.
Members of the Project Management Board are Jacob Oti-Awere of the Ghana Wildlife Society, Mr Kwabena Asante Donkor, Ministry of Tourism, Ms. Comfort Opoku-Ware, Ghana Tourist Board and Ms. Josephine Kufour, Ghana Education Service.
Others are Mr Emmanuel Mensah, Forestry Services Division, Mr Ebenezer Gyamfi, Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, Mr Frank Kwame Jordan, Gamba Travel and Tours and Mr Kwadwo Afari-Yeboah, Executive Co-ordinator of the project.