Malaysia makes $80b from tourism in 2015 – High Commissioner

Mr Loon-Lai, Mr. Strikker, Mrs. Ofosu-Agyare, Mrs Amissah-Arthur and other dignitaries cutting the ribbon to officially open the show.
Mr Loon-Lai, Mr. Strikker, Mrs. Ofosu-Agyare, Mrs Amissah-Arthur and other dignitaries cutting the ribbon to officially open the show.

Mr Cheong Loon-Lai, Malaysian High Commissioner, says Ghana has the potential to become the tropical paradise of choice and a hub for ecotourism in Africa.

Delivering the keynote address at the opening of the fourth Ghana Garden and Flower Show (GGFS 2016), he noted that like Malaysia, Ghana is a treasure trove of diverse flora and fauna.

He said Ghana and Malaysia have developed mutually beneficial relations over the years, manifested in trade, investment, technical support and training and human resource and have many things in common such as their tropical climate, lush rainforests and wide variety of flora and fauna.

Malaysia, he said, received more than 25 million foreign tourists who came to experience the beauty of the country, especially its ecotourism experience.

“Last year alone, the tourism sector contributed over $15.25 billion the gross national income and was also our second highest foreign exchange earner with tourist receipts amounting to $80 billion,” he stated.

Mr Loon-Lai, said ecotourism, which is a focus of this year’s GGFS is one of Malaysia’s largest national income contributors, adding there is a huge potential for Ghana in ecotourism.

“Similar to Malaysia, Ghana is a treasure trove of diverse cultures, hospital and ever smiling people, excellent culinary delights. Basically, the ingredients are all there for Ghana to succeed as an ecotourism hub in this region.”

He said Malaysia also held an annual flower show, which drew in more than one million visitors in June this year.

He said discussions with Ghana’s High Commissioner to Malaysia as well as StratComm and other floriculture and horticulture industry players showed an existing high appreciation of harnessing Ghana’s flora and fauna for national development, which would eventually improve the overall livelihoods of its people.

He pledged his and his country’s renewed commitment to continue to support the GGFS initiative and would increase its collaboration with Ghana in the field of garden and flower movement and well as in the floriculture and horticulture industry.

Mr Ron Strikker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Ghana said his country is the world leader in horticulture, being the third largest exporter of horticultural products and with its entrepreneurs playing significant roles in starting horticulture industries in other countries.

He noted that Ghana has all the ingredients to create a competitive horticultural sector, adding that his country is opened to doing business with the country.

He said the relations of The Netherlands with Ghana would focus more on trade and investment.

He said both countries have a lot to offer each other in the sector, adding that Ghana’s horticultural sector offers and investment opportunity for Dutch entrepreneurs as it provided a large domestic markets and access to the sub-regional market.

Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, who chaired the opening, said the aim of the GGFS is; to harness the Ghanaian flora and fauna for national development and improved livelihoods is in line with the Ministry’s policy objectives.

She said the theme for GGFS 2016: “Dream it, Discover it, Live it,” focused on Ecotourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is appropriate.

She said as part of the Development of the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Plan, the Ministry has rezoned 241.7 acres of land stretching from the Osu Klottey Lagoon to the Accra Community Centre for development as a tourism enclave.

She said the gardens and flowers would be feature prominently in the development and would accelerate private sector investments in horticulture and floriculture.

Ms. Esther A.N Cobbah, Chief Executive Officer of StratComm Africa, organisers of the Ghana Garden and Flower Show, commended the commitment of the second Lady, Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, who was the Guest of Honour, for her zeal towards the Garden and Flower Movement.

She said StratComm Africa through the Ghana Garden Movement would continue its pursuit of a ‘greener, healthier, wealthier and more beautiful Ghana’ and urged Ghanaians, especially businesses to join the movement and partner StratComm to achieve its goal.

Among activities scheduled for the GGFS 2016 are a conference, workshops, Part in the Park, Fashion in the Park, farmers Market and the Ghana Garden and Flower Awards, all to be held at the Afua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.