The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture (MoTAC) in partnership with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has begun a nationwide orientation and training for tour operators on the new Tourist Sites Regulation 2019 (LI 2393).
The training is aimed at enlightening and educating operators on the new LI.
Mr Mark Okraku Mante, Deputy Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, said the LI had come at the right time and it would help in bridging the gap as well as help the Ministry meet the target set by the President of four million dollars with 2 million visitors coming from across the world.
He said the Ministry had also targeted one million domestic tourists and one million international tourists, which would directly and indirectly create 250,000 jobs and as such standards must be created and uplifted to be able to achieve the targets.
He said, “tourism has become very competitive globally, and so as a country we cannot continue doing the old things and expect to get results, so this training is going to help operators do things differently to improve standard and yield better results.”
“We want to make Ghana the hub of tourism in West Africa so we are not just going to attract, but we want to attract and retain and let those who visit become ambassadors who will say good things about Ghana.”
The Deputy Minister said, “We want to see a change after this training, take advantage of this and we will take all the necessary steps to bring the people to you and increase the numbers but how you handle them is the most important thing.”
Mr Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer, GTA, said once the LI had been passed it was important to engage stakeholders to let them understand the process of registration, licensing and what would be expected of them.
He said the training would be replicated in all 16 regions across the country, and that the Authority was hopeful that by the end of next year, every tourist site in the country would have a proper license of operation.
“In October, we will start our yearly licencing of tourist establishment and at that point it is our expectation that every tourist site will go through the process with our team to follow due process and the law.”
Madam Stella Appenteng, Former President, Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), said the Federation was excited to be part of the training, saying, “We can now see that government is serious about tourism by passing this LI to regulate tourist sites.
These are the places that people come to visit and so when they come, they need to take away something, know our history and culture so that they can go back and tell the story to other people.”
She expressed appreciation to government for the opportunity and stated the readiness of all stakeholders to embrace and learn about the LI to be able to apply it and improve on their services.