The Government has released GH¢ 1.8 million to be disbursed to support projects and activities for members of the Tourism Industry Trade Associations.
The release was in connection with President John Dramani Mahama’s commitment towards tourism, culture and creative arts sectors.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, said injection of funds for the trade associations in the sector clearly demonstrated the ruling party’s genuine commitment in the industry as a whole.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare announced the release of the Funds at a stakeholder’s engagement on the Policy Framework for the Application of the Tourism Development fund, in Accra.
The programme was to deliberate the progress made with the introduction of the Tourism Development Fund and its policy framework for its application.
She said the Government, through the Ministry, had worked tirelessly with the major stakeholders and industry practitioners to stimulate economic development and enhance the industry’s role as one of the leading sectors for employment creation; revenue generation; and national cohesion to improve the living conditions of people.
She expressed the Government’s appreciation for the resilience shown by the private sector in tourism development.
“With your unflinching support and commitment, Ghana’s Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts sector has been raised to a higher level for three different but intertwined elements,” she stated.
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said the sector had made significant contribution to national development in terms of investment in the stock of facilities and services, employment, as well as revenue and income for stakeholders.
She said additionally, the sector was contributing largely to the value and supply chains through forward and backward linkages, with other sectors of the economy, such as the financial and insurance, agriculture, manufacturing and transportation sectors in the economy.
She said whilst the Ministry and its agencies had worked tirelessly to make positive impacts in the national economy, the private sector, which drove the industry needed more logistical and financial support.
She said to that effect, the Ministry had introduced a national training programme for the hospitality practitioners.
The training, which is a joint programme by the Ghana Tourism Authority and other agencies, aims at addressing the capacity issues within the industry by offering practical training in frontline services, such as food and beverages and housekeeping services.
She said as a result of the financial challenges facing the sector, the Government had developed and strengthened the regulatory framework by introducing the Tourism Act 817 and established the Tourism Development Fund.
“The Fund, as stipulated in section 21 and 23 of the Tourism Act, is to provide funding through the one per cent tourism levy by a patron of tourism establishments.”
Mrs Ofosu-Adjare commended the industry players for their hard work and assured that the Ministry and its 14 agencies were poised to continue the interactions and engagements to ensure they enriched the policy formulation and implementation.
“We will also continue to use our monitoring and evaluation process as a positive feedback to improve upon performance management and quality assurance in the sector,” she added.