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Business News Mon, 31 May 2010

GACL and GTB to sign MoU

Accra, May 31, GNA - The managements of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) and Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding on how the two organisations could collaborate to promote tourism in the country.

This is because airports form crucial aspects of tourism and such collaboration would promote tourism immensely, and make it a more effective tool for socio-economic development. Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of GACL, said this when the Executive Committee of Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), called on her in Accra.

She said it was worth noting that the aviation and tourism sectors formed the largest wealth creation as well as employment sectors in any country.

Mrs Owusu-Fianko said difficulties within the tourism sector, such as difficulty in accessing well known tourist attraction centres were some of the factors that needed to be reviewed seriously. "Both GACL and Ghana Civil Aviation Authority(GCAA) are holding discussions on setting up landing paths as well as aircrafts, for easy access to some of our beautiful tourist attractions which are not easy to reach by road," she said.

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Mrs Owusu-Fianko said; "Once tourists could reach these sites easily by air, visits to these sites would be much more frequent and will result in the overall promotion of tourism in the country". She said management of GACL sought to make Kotoka International Airport (KIA) a tourist friendly airport by including facilities such as shops, hotels, restaurants, a hospital with special facilities and a Tourism Police Task Force specially trained to promote the proverbial "Friendly Ghanaian Hospitality".

"Because of the measures that have been taken to make KIA safe and dependable, several new airlines are arriving with many in the queue, and this is quite an opportunity for tour operators to take advantage of," she said.

She assured members of GHATOF of management's support through magazines and launching of websites, to promote the tourism industry in the country. Nana Kofi Twinin, President of GHATOF, said there was the need for collaboration between private tourist operators and government to promote tourism.

He said poverty alleviation through job creation could be promoted through tourism, adding; "employment by hotels, lodging facilities and several others is a typical example". Nana Twinin said there was the need for standards to be maintained within the tourism sector across board to improve tourism in the country effectively. He said since funding was a key issue for stakeholders in the tourism sector, executives of GHATOF had plans to set up a fund for members with lower lending rates for those who needed assistance. Other executive members are Mr David Nana Anim, Vice President, Mrs Edith Addo, Treasurer and Mr Seth Asare, Acting Executive Secretary. GHATOF is made up of 21 trade associations in the tourism sector. 31 May 10

Source: GNA
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