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General News Wed, 24 Sep 2008

Ghana opens mission in Iran next week

Accra, Sept. 24, GNA - Government will open a Ghana Mission in Iran next week, Mr. Valiollah Mohammadi, Iranian Ambassador to Ghana announced on Wednesday during a courtesy call on Mrs Oboshie Sai-Cofie, Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations.

He said the Mission in Iran would enable Ghana to receive more Iranian tourists adding that currently more than 400 Iranians visited Ghana for tourism and other purposes.

"About three years ago there were only a few Ghanaians visiting Iran and vice-versa but now more than 300 Ghanaians visit Iran for different purposes as well."

Mr. Mohammadi pointed out that because Ghana had no mission in his country the number of people from Iran who wished to visit this country was limited because of visa problems but with the establishment of a Ghanaian Mission in Iran the country should expect more tourists. The Iranian Ambassador also extended an invitation to Ghana's Minister of Tourism and Diasporan Relations to attend the 2nd International conference on Investment in the Tourism Sector so that Ghana could learn from his country and also share Ghana's experience with Iran.

"The Tourism sector is one area where the two countries can cooperate," Mr Mohammadi said, and mentioned Iran's cultural heritage, craft and tourism industry as areas that Ghana could learn from since Ghana also had a lot of heritage sites. Heritage sites in Ghana include museums, castles, and old historical buildings that need to be preserved for future generation. Mr. Mohammadi presented DVDs and brochures on the Iranian tourism industry to the Minister.

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Mrs Sai-Cofie said she was looking forward to working closely with her counterpart in Iran and to learn more from the vibrant artisan industry in Iran.

"We will take advantage of the close relationship between the two countries and learn to improve our sector," she said. Earlier the Minister received the Canadian High Commissioner in Ghana, Mr Darran Schemmer who said he was very impressed with the Ghana's tourism industry.

Mrs Sai-Cofie said the tourism sector was becoming a huge industry and called on the private sector to be involved in the booming industry. She mentioned Ghana's readiness to learn more on improving eco-tourism sites and said Canada had a good reputation in ecotourism. Ecotourism involves developing tourist attraction sites without damage to the environment.

Mr Edward Komla, a Director at the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations, said Canada offered a lot of opportunities for eco-tourism and urged the High Commissioner to help Ghana benefit from the technical know-how in developing tourism in a sustainable way. 24 Sept. 08

Source: GNA
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