Mr Alfred Ekow Gyan, Deputy Western Regional Minister, on Tuesday said there was the need to further develop tourism to enable the industry to increase its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He stated this in an address at the Western Regional Media launch of the 2013 National Tourism Awards at Takoradi
Mr Gyan said Ghana could follow the example of countries that have developed tourism in order to increase the contribution of the sector to the GDP.
He said the country has numerous attractive tourist sites and has the potential to develop its tourism industry to the same level as other countries that are deriving economic benefits from the sector.
Mr Gyan called on players in the industry to design attractive strategies and vigorous promotion activities to inculcate into the people the desire to visit tourist sites in order to derive revenue.
He said land administration in the country is one of the impediments to prospective investors in the industry and land owners and managers are “caught in the web of long land litigations on the rightful ownership of lands”.
It may be opportune to undertake institutional reforms to address non-transparency and other challenges that frustrate speedy land registration and delivery of titles, he said.
Launching the awards, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, Omanhene of Western Nzema Traditional Area, said the concept of the community Police must be revisited to support the local tourism industry.
He said there was the need for community participation in the design of tourism products and lauded the decision of the Ghana Tourist Authority (GTA) to rotate the national tourism awards from region to region.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Kofi Boakye, the Regional Police Commander, urged players in the industry to abide by the laws of the country.
He said the Police was providing the necessary security for the development of the industry in collaboration with stakeholders.
Mr Anane Nsiah, a Manager of the GTA in-charge of Special Events, said the Tourism Awards would come off on December 13 this year and its objective is encourage excellence in the industry.