Mr. Victor Anderson Hodibert, Head of Tourism Department at the Takoradi Technical University has called for the decentralisation of policies on tourism to commensurate with the tourism potentials in the various Regions and Districts.
He said it was also imperative for the Regions to be empowered to develop their own policy framework for tourism development, since every region had its own peculiar tourism destination capabilities.
Mr. Hodibert said this at the regional celebration of World Tourism Day in Takoradi, on the theme: “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All”.
He suggested that the decentralisation of the tourism policy should be done through the various district assemblies. This he noted would enable them to market their tourism potentials as well as create more job opportunities for the youth.
Mr Hodibert noted with concern that, many tourism destinations in the country did not have good road network and other important facilities such as restrooms and restaurants, which he stressed hindered the development of such tourism destinations.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr. Kwabina Okyere Darko-Mensah, said Tourism was a major source of employment because of its labour intensive nature.
According him, tourism could create direct and indirect jobs in both rural and remote areas through preservation and restoration of traditional activities.
Mr. Darko-Mensah noted with concern that the role of tourism in job creation was often undervalued despite the benefits it provided, adding that tourism generates about 10% of world’s jobs.
The Regional Minister said this year’s World Tourism Day would help address the global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and also highlight the contributions to the Tourism Sector that could help in reaching the development goals.
Mr. Darko-Mensah pointed out that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMES) were now the core job creators in the tourism industry and that it was necessary for their business activities to be regulated to ensure adequate skills management, easy access to funds as well as create an enabling environment that would improve upon the economy.
He said tourism has experienced continuous expansion and diversification due to its fast growing nature and that the government was committed to developing the tourism industry.
The Minister stressed that new policies were needed in branding and expanding the potentials of the tourism sector in Ghana and the Western Region in particular to create more and better jobs for the youth.
Mr. George Nkrumah Ansere, the Western Regional Manager for Ghana Tourism Authority, said the United Nation World Tourism Day (UNWTD) had been celebrated since 1980 on September 27th each year by member states of the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Mr. Ansere said the day was celebrated to highlight and promote engagement of the tourism sector with its rippling effects on the Ghanaian and world economy.
He said the day was also to create awareness among the global community about the social, cultural, Political and economic values of tourism and the contributions the sector make towards the sustainable development goals.
Mr. Ansere pointed out that, world tourism day was a unique opportunity to raise awareness on the need to review and update outdated legislations and regulations that support employment, innovations, entrepreneurship and new business models.