All is set for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to leverage funeral celebrations in Ghana, particularly in the Ashanti Region, to promote the celebration as a new tourist attraction.
The Sector Minister, Dr Ibrahim Awal Mohammed, who mentioned this, noted that the plan would include the creation of food and beverage joints for the sale of local dishes as well as provide a mass transportation system to convey visitors or mourners to traditional sites as a side attraction of funeral rites.
He said the Ministry was pursuing corporate and educational tourism to boost local and international arrivals and visits towards the attainment of the Ministry’s target of generating six billion dollars annually for national development.
Dr Awal was speaking to the Ghanaian Times in Kumasi during the opening of a media capacity-building workshop on Tourism, Arts and Culture, for some selected journalists to drive the tourism promotion agenda in the country.
The Minister said Ghana was taking after France and Spain as leaders in global tourism by targeting to attract more tourists from within and beyond Ghana.
He said, apart from aiming to generate $6 billion from 1.2 million tourism visitors annually, the Ministry sought to create more employment, for which various innovative and creative strategies were being developed including leveraging in funeral celebrations.
To overturn the devastating impact COVID-19 had on tourism in the country, he said the Ministry, with funding by the World Bank, had disbursed about GH¢20 million in grants to selected local organisations within the tourism, arts and culture sub sectors of the national economy.
Dr Awal said his Ministry was working with the Roads and Highways Ministry to construct at least 50 kilometres of roads annually to tourist sites in the country as an incentive for visitors.
Earlier, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Frederick Adjei Rudolph, mentioned that some tourist sites, including the Manhyia Palace Museum, had been given grants for upgrade to enhance their attraction to visitors.
He urged journalists to pay attention to tourism but exercise circumspection when writing the stories so as to help encourage local and foreign visits.
Participating journalists were selected from the Ashanti, Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions constituting the Middle Zone of Ghana.
The training was the second in a series by the Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture to build the capacity of, and encourage the media to give much attention to the promotion of the tourism sub-sector of Ghana.
The participants were taken through, among other issues, as who a tourist is, what goes into tourism data, revenue landscape as well as better telling the tourism story devoid of the traditional forms of reporting.
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE, KUMASIRead Full Story