The Minister designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has vowed to make the Tourism and Creative Arts industry as the engine of growth and the number contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country if approved by Parliament.
Appearing before the Appointments Committee of Parliament today Thursday, 25 February, 2021, the former Business Development Minister promised to aggressively undertake initiatives to boost both local and international tourism in the country.
He said Ghana cannot continue to depend on the revenues accrue from the Cocoa, Gold and Oil sectors, emphasizing that the revenues in these areas cannot be predicted.
The Minister Designate believes Ghana has the best tourist sites in the sub-region and thereby reiterated the commitment of government to build new heritage sites.
According to Dr Awal, about 1.1 million tourists visited Ghana in 2019 to commemorate the Year of Return and that the anniversary fetch the country about three billion US Dollars, adding, this has systematically, been on the increase in the past eight to ten years.
However, the Minister Designate lamented much is not done to improve local tourism and therefore seized the platform to entreat the Members of Parliament to champion the internal tourism drive.
“If I am given the opportunity, every time go on break, I want to organize Members of Parliament to go around the country. We want have corporate tourism, school tourism, religious tourism and others. Apart from making people know various parts of the country, it brings national cohesion and unity and create opportunities for people in the local communities”
He continued, “To do that we also need to improve our arts and culture, both drumming and dancing – very important for us. Our national festivals on arts and culture would’ve to comeback on stream.”