Ken Ofori Atta
Ken Ofori Atta

The Government has allocated US$ 1.2 billion to the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

This is the enable the Ministry to carry out its Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project.

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance in a budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday, November 13, said the amount was expected to create about 600,000 jobs and also the Ministry had completed preparatory works for implementation of the Ghana Tourism Development Project.

“The tourist sites to be upgraded across the country under the Project would include: Mole Game Reserve, Paga Crocodile Pond, Wli Waterfall, Shai Hills, Aburi Gardens, James Town Lighthouse, Victoria Park, Castle, Ankasa Forest, Elimina Castle,Kakum National Park, Bonwire Kente Village, Kumasi Zoo and Ashanti Traditional Buildings,” he added.

Outlining the Ministry’s programmes for the year 2020, the Finance Minister said; “the Ministry is collaborating with the Forestry Commission and a Private Investor to develop Kakum National Park in the Central Region, Ankasa Forest Reserve in Western Region, Bomfobiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the Ashanti and Shai Hills Resource Reserve in the Greater Accra Region as ecotourism sites to international standards.

“In 2020, the Ministry would finalize the development plans for implementation, to increase visitation, jobs and income for the communities.”

He said the overall objective of transforming the economy under the theme “Our Year Of Return 2019, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the Ministry of Tourism declared the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana” campaign, declared National Chocolate Day under the theme: “Eat Ghana, Eat Chocolate”, in all the regions on February 14, 2019 and the month of March as a “Wear Ghana” month.

The Ministry also organized paragliding festival in April for the Easter festivities and in September as part of the commemoration of the 2019 United Nations World Tourism Day.

He said the Ministry would continue to promote these activities to promote jobs and income for Ghanaians in 2020.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said “in line with establishing a leading professional hospitality and catering skills training centre, the Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT) developed a strategic plan and service delivery standard to guide for training within the sector. HOTCATT would commence operation in 2020.”