GTA launch 50th Anniversary celebration

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched its 50th anniversary celebrations with the call on stakeholders to leverage collective strengths and expertise, to drive growth and create new opportunities for the industry.

The 50th anniversary is on the theme, “Sustainable and inclusive tourism development”50 years and beyond.”

Mr Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, said they believed that their growth was a result of their strategic partnerships with the stakeholders, particularly the private sector, which has enabled them to work together to promote Ghana’s unique Cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and warm hospitality.

“We recognize that the private sector is a critical partner in the development of the tourism industry, and we are committed to continuing to work with them to achieve our vision for the sector. So we believe that by leveraging our collective strengths and expertise, we can continue to drive growth and create new opportunities for the industry.”

He said the sector had shown strong growth in the past year, with a significant increase in international and domestic arrivals, the increase in new licensed facilities, strong brand awareness and strategic product improvements.

“Over the past year, we have seen a significant increase in international arrivals to Ghana, with a growth of 47 per cent from 623, 523 in 2021 to 914,892 in 2022. Whilst most African counties were doing 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, Ghana did 81 percent. This is testament to the success of the many strategies we put in place such as the Destination Ghana campaign and our continuing effort through the Beyond the Return Project.”

Mr Agyeman said in addition to the growth in international arrivals, domestic tourism also increased by 55 per cent from 588,946 in 2021, to 937,087 in 2022.

“This indicates that more Ghanaians are discovering the beauty of our country, and are choosing to explore their own backyard, which is good news for the local economy. Tourist sites such as Aburi Botanical Gardens, the Kumasi Zoo and the Kakum National Park all showed strong performance.”

The CEO added that the number of formal licensed tourism facilities had also increased by 6 per cent with 323 newly registered projects, indicating that the private sector was investing in the tourism industry and recognising its potential for growth and profitability.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to improve the tourism industry in Ghana, we have made significant improvements in infrastructure, which will enhance the visitor experience and make it easier for tourists to access the many attractions that Ghana has to offer.”

Mr Agyeman added that in the year under review, work started on the Aburi Botanical Garden, the Yaa Asantewaa Mausoleum, the Yaa Asantewaa museum, the Pikworo Slave camp and MOUs were signed with some 13 communities for project upgrades.

This was in line with the new Legislative Instrument LI 2393 on tourist sites and attractions. “We also undertook sensitization of all players in the industry,” he said.

He reiterated that the GTA was committed to promoting Ghana as a top tourist destination and improving the regulatory environment for the tourism industry, to ensure that operators could provide high-quality services to visitors, whilst also adhering to the highest standards of safety and security.

The CEO said their vision was to build on the successes of the past year, and to position Ghana as a leading tourist destination in the Sub-region and would continue to work tirelessly to promote the country as a premier tourist destination.

The Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, commended the GTA for the success chalked over the past 50 years and urged staff to acquire critical skills to meet the challenging demands in the tourism sector to solve problems and raise revenue for the sector.

“Tourism is not just about hotels, food, music, leisure or entertainment but it’s about business to drive socio-economic growth and development,” he added.

Mr Yoofi Grant, Chief Executive Officer Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, said the issue of country branding was one that no one institution could do it alone, so it was the collective responsibility of all to market the country both internally and externally.

Some programmes outlined for the celebration include the Kwahu Paragliding, May Day celebration, Float, staff bonding activities, presidential summit, blood donation exercise and Health screening, formal launch of GTA Retirees Association, familiarization tour for staff, management and board of directors, Panafest/Emancipation, official commissioning of Geese Park.

The rest are industry games and fun day, tourism month in Ada, world tourism day senior staff association congress, dinner and awards night, 50th Jubilee musical concert, thanksgiving service, carol’s service and end of year Party, Taste of Ghana, and December in GH events.

The GTA also used the opportunity to launch its 2022 annual report.

Source: GNA

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