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World Tourism Day Activities Starts With Exhibition   
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Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Minister of Tourism, exchanging pleasantries with the Swaziland Minster of Tourism. Looking on is Madam Dzifa Attivor (right) Deputy Minster of Transport.
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A week long tourism exhibition opened on Tuesday to officially kick-start activities to mark World Tourism Day celebrations.

Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah, beat the drums to signify the official opening of the event.

The spectacular exhibition showcased Ghana’s culture and tourism attractions from various regions amidst drumming and dancing, with colourful wall paintings and crafts including beads, Ghanaian clothing, sandals, Ghanaian dishes, hotels, restaurants and airlines.

Mrs. Azumah-Mensah called on visitors to the exhibition to make time to visit the various stands to observe the diverse aspects of Ghanaian culture and purchase artefacts, souvenirs and collectibles that would hold the memory of the event.

Mrs. Mawuko Fummey, an Exhibitor and Tourism Advisor at SNV-Netherlands Development Organization, said the organisation was established to promote tourism as a development vehicle for poverty reduction with the potential to generate economic, social and environmental benefits for Ghanaians.

“In Ghana, the Netherlands Development Organization is offering various capacity development services to major stakeholders in the tourism industry through a number of interventions,” she said.

She appealed to government and relevant decision makers to make the tourism sector a priority in Ghana’s development planning, adding that the industry was bound to generate enormous economic and social benefits for the people of Ghana.

Ms. Cynthia Awuni of SavannaLand, an organization committed to the promotion of tourists’ attractions in Northern Ghana, said she hoped that after the exhibition, tourists’ visits up country would scale up.

“We also expect the private sector to come and do business there; we want more hotels, restaurants, good roads and a lot of infrastructure to secure maximum benefits from tourism,” she said.

Ms. Awuni appealed to government to create an environment that would facilitate public-private ventures to the benefit of the tourism industry.

Mama Mat, an exhibitor selling African beads, urged government and the Ministry of Tourism to reduce the rent of the stands to enable more people access the opportunities at the exhibition.

“The exhibition stand is quite expensive and it makes it difficult for more people to benefit from tourism,” she said.

Mr. Michael Mensah, an exhibitor selling artefacts and crafts, called on government to advertise the country on networks like CNN and BBC and other online channels to get more tourists to visit the country.

“We want more tourists to visit Ghana; it is only by increased tourists’ arrivals that we can make our money.”

Ms. Cynthia Simelane, Marketing Officer of Swaziland Tourism Authority, said her country expected to meet many tour operators to arrange tour packages that would facilitate more visits to Swaziland.

“We realize that some tourists visit Africa and even Southern Africa but do not visit Swaziland, but Swaziland is just an hour’s flight from any of the Southern African countries and we also have a lot to offer,” she added.

Ms. Simelane advised stakeholders in the tourism industry to ensure that tourists were treated well to guarantee repeated visits to Africa.
Source: GNA

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