Business News of 2014-04-22

‘Tourism, still fourth foreign exchange earner’

Ghana's tourism sector maintained its position as the fourth highest foreign exchange earner last year, coming after gold, cocoa and foreign remittances from Ghanaians abroad.

The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, who made this known, said key agencies under the ministry were undergoing restructuring to ensure that tourism continued to play a key role in the socio-economic lives of Ghanaians.

Speaking at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra, Mrs Ofosu-Adjare stated that the country's international arrivals grew by 10 percent from 903,300 in 2012 to 993, 600 in 2013, resulting in a projected increase in receipts from $1.7 billion to $1.9 billion.

Restructuring

The ministry has 14 agencies implementing various aspects of its agenda.

Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Hotel Catering and Tourism Training Centre (HOTCATT) were being restructured to promote and sustain the development of domestic and international tourism.

The objective, according to her, was to enhance skills and competencies of the hospitality providers to improve on quality service delivery.

Programmes and projects

The ministry, Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said, had made progress for the funding arrangements and detailed designs on the construction of a multi-purpose theatre, shopping mall and hotel in Kumasi.

She said the ministry was seeking the approval of Cabinet for commencement of the Marine Drive Tourism Development Project.

A grand Homowo festival in Greater Accra and familiarisation tours to some tourist attraction sites in the country would be organised by the ministry as part of its activities for this year, she added.