Industry players in the tourism sector in the Upper East Region have been encouraged to invest and enhance security and safety measures in their facilities to curb crime and prevent insurgence.
Mr Wisdom Ahadzi, Regional Director, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), who made the call, said such a move would not only protect the lives patrons but would boost performance of the sector and the development of the local economy.
“Every facility needs to take security issues very seriously, if you want to remain in business, it is not only in Ghana but in other countries, there are tourism policies that stress the need for visitors to be secured,” he said.
The Regional Director was speaking at a security sensitisation workshop organised by the GTA for industry actors in the central zone of the region, Bolgatanga Municipal, Bolgatanga East, Bongo, Nabdam and Talensi Districts, including hotels, guest houses, restaurants and stakeholders in the tourist sites among others.
The participants were taken through how to identify warning signals of security threats and measures to tackle security issues.
Mr Ahadzi explained that security was as important as the life of any business and necessary to tighten it at every facility and more so, in the tourism sector which attracts many people.
He said apart from the criminal activities that were associated with festive seasons like Christmas, the country was threatened by security concerns, including activities of terrorist groups and extremists on the shores of the country and the need to prevent them.
Mr Ahadzi indicated that the training was to empower stakeholders to understand the importance of security to the growth and development of the industry and to encourage them to prioritise security issues, especially ahead of the yuletide.
The Regional Director called on stakeholders in the tourism industry in the region to collaborate to package the huge tourism potential of the area to enhance growth and development.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, Upper East Regional Minister, said the training came at the right time since tourist sites had become soft spots for criminal activities and urged the players to invest in strengthening their security.
Mr Yakubu explained that tourism potentials of the country needed to be harnessed to rake in the revenue required to transform the economy and to foster inclusive development and urged tourism development to be prioritised as medium-term goals in the National Tourism Plan.
“This will be achieved by leveraging existing programmes and projects to strengthen the sector’s linkages with related sectors and relevant supply chains including transport, handicrafts, agriculture and construction,” he added.
The Regional Minister said government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts was committed to increase investment in the tourism sector through involvement of the private sector and would strengthen sector linkages to improve performance.