Mr Mark Okraku-Mantey, Deputy Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has reiterated government’s commitment to boost the sector and maximise its potential as a vehicle for national development.
Citing the successes chalked in the Year of Return, and Beyond the Return initiatives so far, he said the sector could be the major backbone of the country’s growth if the opportunities therein were properly leveraged upon.
He said already, government was investing some 25 million dollars into the upgrade of some iconic tourists’ sites in the country including the Elmina and Cape Coast Castles to make them more attractive.
He said the President had also launched a 10-million-dollar fund to help Small and Medium Enterprises in the tourism and arts sector to aid their recovery process from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Okraku-Mantey made remarks when he launched the Central Region’s Trade, Tourism and Investment fair, Central Expo 2022 at the Adisadel College Park in Cape Coast.
More than 200 young business are participating in the one-week event which is targeted at boosting the local economy and driving investment into the region.
They include those into valued-added agro products, agrochemicals, jewellery, clothing and accessories, herbal medicine, arts and crafts, alcohol, water, cosmetics and building materials.
It is on the theme: “Promoting Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Central Region – Challenges, Prospects and Solutions.”
The Deputy Minister maintained that government had introduced a number of interventions towards positioning Ghana as the hub of tourism in the West Africa Sub-region and enable businesses within the sector to thrive.
He noted that it was impossible to speak of tourism without the mention of the Central Region and Cape Coast in particular.
“I will therefore encourage you to keep the beaches clean because that is the gold of this region,” he said.
He further challenged investors, particularly the industrious men and women of the region to invest there, indicating that there was wealth in Central Region.
“Let’s invest into arts and hospitality space and see your business grow over the years,” he stressed.
Mr Okraku-Mantey also intimated that for businesses in Ghana to grow sustainably, government was striving to make peace and order a top priority.
“Entrepreneurs, both local and foreign are doing business here because of the stability in government, natural resources, the existence of a ready, able, industrious, educated, and skilled workforce,” he added.
The Deputy Minister encouraged all participants to use the opportunity to visit the various tourists’ attractions in the region.
“We can only market our country to foreign visitors when we have already mastered the navigation of our own country,” he stated.