By Christabel Oboshie ANNAN, Eastern region
CHIEF of Staff at the Office of the President, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, has underscored the importance of harnessing Ghana’s cultural assets to revolutionise the country’s tourism industry.
She stated that harnessing cultural assets for inclusive tourism growth requires that we recognize the immense value of our cultural heritage and safeguard it for future generations.
“We have a duty to protect and to preserve our historical sites, monuments and artefacts by investing in restoration and conservation to create sustainable tourism products that will attract visitors from around the globe,” she stressed.
The Chief of Staff said this at the Presidential Summit on Tourism, where she spoke on the theme ‘Harnessing Cultural Assets for Inclusive Tourism Growth’ at Peduase in the Eastern region.
She indicated that an active stakeholder involvement forms critical part of the effort to harness our cultural assets for inclusive tourism growth.
She noted that a lot of efforts must come from all stakeholders from the private and public sectors of the economy to promote our festivals, cultural programmes and artistic expression.
“To achieve inclusive tourism growth we must actively involve local communities in the tourism value chain by empowering them to participate in the sector, whether through artisanal crafts, cultural performances, or community based tourism initiatives” she stressed.
The Chief of Staff said that as a country, we can propel local economic development, create sustainable economic opportunities and reduce regional disparities by harnessing cultural assets for inclusive tourism growth.
She stated that tourism practitioners need to invest in training programs that equip the youth with the necessary skills to excel in tourism related professions by nurturing a skilled workforce.
She pointed out that there’s the need to leverage on technological advancements of digitalization since it serve as a catalyst for inclusive tourism growth.
Honorable Akosua Frema Osei-Opare urged the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority to invest more in marketing the Visit Ghana App to become the true one stop shop that is required for the country.
She suggested that the Minister of Tourism and the Ghana Tourism Authority forges a strong partnership with academia to document Ghana’s cultural as well as historic political events of the past to provide useful content for the development of potential tourism ventures.
The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mante said that Tourism, Arts and Culture are deeply connected and their combined impact on our economy cannot be understated.
He noted that preservation of the Ghanaian culture should be driven by movie makers, musician, theatre and the media.
As a result of that he added that his Ministry is committed to forge stronger alliances to develop a comprehensive policy and implementing targeted initiative that will propel the nation to new heights.
“By investing in our artists, reshaping perceptions, and leveraging tourism as a catalyst, we can build a robust and sustainable creative industry that contributes significantly to Ghana’s economic and global reputation” he added.