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Ghana to get tourism bank

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The Kakum Canopy Walkway - one of Ghana's tourist attractions

Mr Edem Kpodo, Board Chairman of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), announced that a bank in Ghana has been given licence to invest in the tourism industry.

He said that specialized financial institutions were needed to boost the industry, which substantially contributes to the country’s economy.

Mr Kpodo was interacting with stakeholders in the tourism industry at a forum in Ho on Friday, as part of a four-day visit of tourist attractions in the  Volta Region by GBT Board Members.

The forum was attended by hoteliers, restaurant owners, tour guides, tourism development groups and service regulatory bodies among others.

Mr Kpodo said the Board Members were in the Region to have first hand information on the state of tourism and to discuss ways of improving the industry.

He said that high interest rate, poor roads, inadequate data on tourist destinations, high taxes and poor service delivery were also discussed.

Mr Emmanuel Chance, Proprietor of Chances Hotel in Ho, said the cumbersome nature of acquiring Ghanaian visa, high airport tax and the unchecked poaching of elephants were affecting the development of tourism in Ghana.

He called for a more comprehensive tourism data on Ghana on the website and the training of people working in the tourism industry.

Mr Padmore McBilly, Administrative Secretary of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union in the Volta Region, called on the authorities to improve roads and transport to enhance the tourism industry.

Mr Alex Martels Hughes, Volta Regional Commander of the Ghana Fire Service, warned that next year, hotels that would fail to acquire the necessary fire safety documents would be closed down.

Mr Nukunu Akyea, a tourism consultant, asked regulatory bodies to be proactive and educate clients on how to meet demands rather than taking punitive measures against them.

Source: GNA

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