The Ghana Heritage ConservationTrust (GHCT) has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), to prioritise the development of tourism endowments in their localities.
“There must be conscious efforts by all Assemblies to develop or re-brand the tourism potentials and services in their catchment areas with improved marketing techniques, roadmaps, and documentation to aid visitors, because tourists want to feel the cultural aspects of the people to have that revisiting experience”.
Mr Isadore Armah, Executive Director of the GHCT told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Cape Coast that the Assemblies needed to refocus on developing abandoned and untapped tourist sites to boost the local economy and help create wealth.
MMDAs should not be content with the limited fees, rates, tolls, and licenses they charge, but take bold steps to make sound policies that will identify tourism as a key component of their development agenda.
“There is the need to mobilise revenue to implement their development agenda and it is important that they find innovative ways to fully exploit the endowed resources in their jurisdictions to aid development”, he stressed.
Mr Armah pointed out that the tourism and hospitality industry presented Ghana with a fine opportunity to attract more visitors from across the globe into the country, which eventually would boost its economy.
That makes the sector a major contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), however, over the years, tourism infrastructure especially at the district level had not seen much facelift or enhancement to ensure growth and development.
“Many interesting tourism and attraction sites are equally in appalling conditions, making them lose their value of attraction.
” The roads leading to our various tourist destinations are in a horrible state, which made internal travels very difficult, hindering the growth of the sector”, he said.
Mr Armah called for continued advocacy on tourism development by drawing the attention of all stakeholders to create an ambiance where tourism becomes a major source of job creation and poverty reduction.
In addition to that, they must engage the services of experts, equip them, and regularly build the capacity of stakeholders to rain in their unalloyed support for sustainable development in their communities.
He challenged stakeholders in the tourism industry especially, traditional authorities to do more to help increase the contribution of the sector to accelerate national growth