Gov't to harness potentials in tourism industry - Minister

Mrs. Juliana Azuma-Mensah, Minister of Tourism on Wednesday pledged government's commitment to harness the huge investment potentials in the tourism industry for job creation and poverty reduction for economic development. She noted that the prevailing political stability and democratic governance for the past two decades, continued to create a conducive environment for the growth of the tourism industry. Mrs. Azuma-Mensah made the pledge when inaugurating the six-member Board of Directors for Ghana Tourist Development Company (GTDC) in Accra. She noted that most business delegations to the country, had expressed interest in the industry because it provided prospects for rapid socio-economic development and cited an Italian delegation that had decided to invest in hotels; resorts, team parks and other commercial ventures. Mrs. Azuma-Mensah observed that over the years, GTDC had not lived up to expectation as the leading agency to promote tourism for investment or made the necessary impact to achieve its mandate. She called on the board not only to acquire and service land for private investment in tourism, but engage experts who could develop investment profiles for patronage by investors. Mrs. Azuma-Mensah gave the assurance that the Ministry was prepared to work closely with all agencies and stakeholders in the industry to improve tourism. "We must ensure that the sector really improves the living standards of Ghanaians by creating the much needed employment, increase in revenue and reduction in poverty in communities within tourists attractions, "she said. Mrs. Azuma-Mensah urged members of the board to live up to expectation and fulfil aspirations of the tourism industry, through the promotion of the investment drive to make the sector a major foreign exchange earner. Mr. Kojo Ablordepey, Chairman of the board expressed the gratitude of the members to government for the trust and confidence reposed in them to serve the country.