Honourable Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mrs. Catherine Afeku, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, Your Excellencies From The Diplomatic Corps,the Greater Accra Regional Police Commander, (Acp) George Alex Mensah, the President, Ghana Tourism Federation, Okatakyie David Nana Anim, ddistinguished ladies and gentlemen.
It is an honour to share today with all of you. I am very impressed by all the beautiful made in Ghana artefacts that have been put out here on display at the Exhibition. Truly, we are blessed with great talent and creativity.
I believe the time has come for us to harnessing these talents and make a remarkable name for ourselves on the international market. Today marks the World Tourism Day. I believe it should be a special day for introspection for all countries.
For us, as Ghanaians it is a good time to ask ourselves, ‘how well have we done?’ Have we gone the full haul with this? Have we given the tourism sector the best chance to compete with other countries globally? Have we marketed Ghana as best as we could?
I believe each of us here can answer these questions when we pause for thought.
Tourism is an important, even vital source of income for many countries. The theme for this year’s celebration ‘Sustainable Tourism: a tool for National Development’ could not be more appropriate if we stop to consider the enormous advantages we stand to enjoy as a country when we –in a more holistic manner– project Ghana as a tourism powerhouse of Africa.
We can grow tourism in a way that transforms the sector positively by broadening participation and ownership of tourism services and products.Today is set aside to foster awareness on the importance of tourism; its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Ghana is a country rich with culture; and what better way to showcase our cultural heritage than through tourism?
Everyone here today has shown incredible support to an agenda that seeks to put Ghana on the map as a good tourist destination site; and all of us involved in the tourism value chain need to recognize the roles we have to play in making tourism in Ghana attractive.
The contributions of the stakeholders gathered today are essential to the on-going success and growth of tourism in our country and I am happy that the youth of this country are also getting very much involved by being innovative and contributing their talents to the tourism, arts and culture sectors.
In developing tourism, sustainable opportunities are created not just for producers and suppliers of the wide range of productive equipment and inputs needed by the tourism sector but also for investors and entrepreneurs who find innovative ways of meeting the needs of tourists.
It is imperative on us to work in partnership to extract value from the opportunities in domestic and international tourism to create jobs for our people.
We are not close to the limits of what we can accomplish if we focus on improving tourism in our country. I strongly believe there is a lot that can still be done to bring us closer to what we hope to achieve with tourism in this country.
The ability of the national economy to benefit from tourism depends heavily on the availability of investment to develop the necessary infrastructure, and on its ability to supply the needs of tourists.
I want to commend all the partners and sponsors for identifying yourselves with, and supporting a critical sector of our country’s economy that holds the potential for job creation and poverty alleviation.
If Ghana will become the tourism hub of Africa, we all have a part to play. As Ghanaians we should patronise and support Ghanaian businesses. Let us make our offerings good quality, unique and authentic. Let us continue to grow and increase productivity in tourism, let us continue to be innovative.
I would end by saying there is nothing that is impossible to achieve when we set our minds to it.
Long Live Ghana’s tourism sector!
Long live our rich cultural heritage!
Long live our motherland!
Thank you all and may God bless you!