The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) will from next year, establish heroes parks to honour the leaders of the country’s independence struggle, famously known as ‘BIG Six’, the sector minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has disclosed.
The construction of the parks, he said, would be done in Accra to serve as tourist attractions, job creation avenue and revenue mobilisation for the country.
The minister disclosed this during a capacity building workshop organised by the ministry for some selected journalists drawn from Accra, Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions, Thursday at Koforidua in the Eastern Region.
The workshop aimed to build the capacity of journalists to report comprehensively on issues relating to tourism, arts and culture and also enable them appreciate the role it play in economic development and job creation of the country.
The minister said the government, through his outfit, was poised to change the narrative as far as tourism, arts and the development of culture was concerned.
“That’s why we’re spending a lot of money to renovate and modernise our attractions. Kwame Nkrumah Park was not in good shape. But thanks to President Akufo-Addo, today it is one of the most modernised tourist attractions in West Africa,” he added.
He said the park now generates about GH¢1.1m a month whereas the National Museum which was also renovated makes about GH¢300,000 contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Aside the parks, he said the ministry was also determined to build musuems, forts as well as five amphitheatres across the country next year.
“We’ve started Kumasi, Accra for the amphitheatres and we will start Tamale very soon as well as Takoradi and Tema. And this is going to create opportunity for the creative arts industry and create jobs for them as well,” he added.
DrAwal said the ministry had been targeted to create 150,000 direct jobs every year in the tourism space and to achieve the target, it was expecting 1.2m million international tourist arrivals and 1.2m domestic tourism this year.
Each tourists he said spends an average of US$3,000 a month which would eventually generate $3.6bn in terms of international tourism receipts this year.
“And that’s certainly going to create jobs for a lot of people. Because when the tourists comes they stay in hotels, use transport, buy food, shop among others within their seven days stay. But our plan is that as we modernise the tourist attractions, add more tourist facilities, we want the tourists to spend about 14 days where they can spend more money,” he said.
The minister said the sector had also targeted 2m international tourist arrivals by 2026 which would accrue about US$6bn tourist receipts making tourism the number one contributor to GDP.
For December in GH, he said the sector was expecting about 100,000 tourists between December 1 to January 10, stressing that it was the ambition of his office to position the country as destination of choice as well as Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing and Events (MICE) and business tourism centre.
However to achieve that, he urged the media to put tourism at the front burner to promote the sector for economic growth.
The Acting Director in charge of Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation at MoTAC, Mr Geoffrey Tamakloe, who gave the overview of the ministry, its functions and agencies admonished the media to be ambassadors of tourism.
The journalists were taken through, among other issues, who a tourist is, what goes into tourism data, revenue landscape as well as better telling the tourism story devoid of the traditional forms of reporting.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN AND VIVIAN ARTHUR, KOFORIDUA