Minister: Allocate percentage of tourism levy to facilitate development in regions

The Central Regional Minister wants government to cede a percentage of funds from the tourism levy to support development

Justina Marigold Assan, the Central Regional Minister, is advocating for the allocation of a percentage of the tourism levy to the region.

Speaking to Dr Kwaku Agyeman Budu on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Monday (29 November), the minister said ceding a percentage of the levy to the chiefs will ensure continuity of development and maintenance of tourist sites.

“As I said earlier, the monies or things that we get from tourism goes to the Consolidated Fund from which Nananom have come to me and we have had discussions around it.

“So that even if it some kind of percentage to them, so that they can also be using that percentage in doing one or two developments or maintenance at those tourist sites.”

She added, “They have written to the appropriate quarters and I know we will get favourable answers, for the indigenes for their tourism and festivals yes, they don’t joke about it.”

Government to prioritise development in the tourism sector under CARES

Accelerated development of tourism will be prioritised under Ghana CARES, based on the medium-term goals set out in the National Tourism Plan, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance has said.

Presenting the Budget Statement and Economic Policy in Parliament on Wednesday (17 November), the minister said this move will “ensure investment and development of infrastructure, marketing, and supply-chain links” to “enhance the capacity of key tourism institutions, and improve coordination with the private sector for job creation and economic expansion.”

Revamp of selected tourism assets in Ghana

He announced that sections of the Aburi Botanical Gardens and the Yaa Asantewaa Mausoleum in Ejisu-Besease will be upgraded.

“The main components of the Phase I revamp in Aburi will include works to enhance the entry and exit gates, visitor receptive facilities, a car park, washrooms, play grounds and an event centre,” he said.

He added that, “the contracts for these works have been awarded and the projects are expected to be completed by end of March 2022.”

He also stated that, “… preparatory works, including design and procurement processes for the construction of a heritage village are underway.

Stakeholder and community engagement has commenced towards the planned transformation of the Pikworo Heritage and Slave Market, the Salaga Slave Market, and four targeted beaches.”

He added that these “interventions are expected to increase tourist arrivals in 2021 by 50 percent over the 2020 outcome and by 2023 increase jobs in the tourism, arts and culture sector by 5 percent and increase the sector’s contribution to GDP by 2 percent over the 2019 figure.”

The minister outlined some key results that were achieved for the sector under CARES this year.

  1. Targeted roadshows in key source markets led to increased tourism arrivals. By the end of September 2021, inbound arrivals of 411,164 placed the sector on course to achieve its end-year target of 600,000. These road shows have led to some strategic partnerships, including the historic naming of a street after Ghana in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) by the Borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The number of visitors from the sub-region also grew by 13 percent against a target of 10 percent through enhanced marketing strategies.

2. Stakeholder engagements and preparatory works for the sector skills revitalization program is ongoing. The target is to train and certify 10,000 persons by 2023 on specific tourism and hospitality skills, including product knowledge, customer service, digital marketing and business development. So far over 500 people, including drivers of car rental companies and taxis, have undergone training in product knowledge improvement

3.  A data centre at the Ghana Tourism Authority to enhance industry data collection and provide real-time data is also in place; and

4. The National Tourism Destination Single Window platform (NTDSWP) to automate the country’s tourism operations and enhance service delivery has been completed. Over 300 operators have so far been placed on the platform

The Ghana CARES (Obaatan pa) programme, is an unprecedented GHc100 billion post COVID programme which was launched by government on (18 November 2020) to stabilize, revitalize and transform Ghana’s economy to create jobs and prosperity for Ghanaians over a three-year period. It is sequenced in two phases: A Stabilization Phase that run from July to December (2020) and a medium-term Revitalization Phase to run from 2021 to 2023.

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