A Ghana Tourism Authority has been established to replace the old Ghana Tourism Board with the express mandate to promote the sustainable development of the tourism industry both locally and internationally.
It was passed by an Act of Parliament (Act 817) and assented by the President, John Atta Mills, which empowers the Authority to ensure the management and development of appropriate designs for tourist sites, promote pro-poor tourism, sustainable and responsible tourism and take appropriate measures for safety and security of consumers of Ghana’s tourism products.
In a chat with the Deputy Executive Director, Operations, of the authority, Mr. Kofigah, said that the main difference between the Board and the Authority is that government sub vented the former, which operated as a non-profit organisation.
He explained that as a Board, it could not compete with tourism plant owners such as hotel, travel agencies etc. Now the theory is that the Authority can now develop programmes/ products and hand it over to the private sector.
The Board was more of a Regulatory body, Kofigah noted. As an Authority, the body is no more sub-vented and therefore has to compete, that is to say, they are to ‘’pay themselves’’
Among the stated objectives, the authority is to set up a Tourism Development Fund of which a levy of one percent would be levied on all tourism products which is in the offing, Kofigah indicated.
He indicated that district offices are to be opened to decentralize the authority to make it more relevant. Currently, only regional and the national offices exist.
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