Business News Tue, 13 Nov 2007

Public-private partnership key to develop tourism

Accra, Nov 13, GNA - Strengthening public and private partnership has been identified as key to promote the Ghanaian tourism sector to compete effectively with other tourism led economies. To this effect, the Japan International Development Agency (JICA) and the SNV Netherlands Development has therefore sponsored a seven-member delegation to South Africa to understudy their experience. The study tour was also part of the Tourism Development Project being funded by JICA with the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations as partner.

At a debriefing session on the tour in Accra, Ms Mawuko Fumey, Tourism Advisor for SNV and a member of the delegation said the team which left Accra for the weeklong trip focused on areas such as tourism product development, funding, structure and administration. She said the team was also able to study best practices on research, information dissemination, human resource development, tourism marketing and promotion.

Sharing the South African experience, Mr Nkunu Akyea, Chief Executive Officer for Search Lite Foundation and spokesperson for the delegation, said South Africa had classified tourism as part of its five prioritized economic led sectors, contributing to 120 billion rands of their Growth Development Product (GDP).

He said there was therefore the need for Ghana to look at other practices as adopted by the South Africans such as strong government goodwill and support, and focusing on a public sector led and driven by community based prticipation. He stated there had been success where tourism strategies were based on strong consumer research efforts and where sector players were highly involved in administration, management, marketing and funding of tourism. Mr Akyea noted that strong networking between industry players and various arms of government, engendering a sense of togetherness as well as making conscious efforts to develop products with particular regard for quality, environment and conservation had also helped the South African sector.

He said although the South African economy was more advanced than that of Ghana, with time Ghana could also adapt such practices and others that would enable the country to compete effectively with other countries.

Mrs Bridget Katsriku, Chief Director for the Ministry said the country was making strenuous efforts to promote its tourism sector, saying the Project was a demonstration of that goodwill. She said reports from the delegation showed that the trip was successful and their experience and knowledge could go a long way to assist the country in improving the sector. She hinted that a public private partnership forum would soon be held for the industry players to share ideas on what to consider for the Ghanaian situation. 13 Nov 07

Source: GNA