Government Allocates $1.2bn To Ministry Of Tourism

Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Tourism Minister

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

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

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, in a budget statement to Parliament last Wednesday, said the amount is 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 the 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, Mr. Ofori-Atta 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 finalise the development plans for implementation, to increase visitation, jobs and income for the communities,” he disclosed.

The minister 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 organised a 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 added, “In line with establishing a leading professional hospitality and catering skills training centre, the Hotel, Catering & 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.”