SADA and the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture unveils the 2017 World Tourism Day

The opening ceremony of the 2017 World Tourism Day Celebration and Northern Ghana Tourism Investment Summit has opened in Tamale. Dignitaries like the Northern Regional Minister Hon. Salifu Saeed, the Zimbabwean Ambassador to Ghana, Her Excellency Mrs. Pavelyn Tendai Musaaka, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Kwasi Agyeman, The Counselor of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Columbia in Mexico, Alfonso Orduz, The CDH Group, Professor Kweku Boakye of the University of Cape Coast and Mr. Augustin Otu, of GIPC attended the opening ceremony which took place at the Modern City Hotel in Tamale.

As part of showcasing the tourism and cultural opportunities of the zone, the hotel beamed with brilliant colors of cultural display and an exquisite exhibition of made in Ghana goods particularly smocks, at the entrance of the hotel.

At the core of the occasion, Hon. Saeed hammered keenly on the rich potential of the northern part of the country and the need to develop this to spur growth in the sector. He iterated that investors will have no trouble in expanding their businesses since most places in the south are choked. In his opening remarks, he indicated that northern men and women are hardworking and loyal people; thereby situating for investment and increased productivity. ”Northern Ghana has a lot of potential when it comes to eco-tourism and all potential investors are invited to come to the Northern region and Invest”, Hon. Saeed Salifu added. Investing in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone is the key sustainable development in the tourism.

The Northern Regional Minister also cast some light on the government’s plans for the region. He stressed that the shea industry is strategic for the transformation and job creation agenda of government. He stated that the sector will be used as a key driver for creating jobs and alleviating poverty when the implementation of the one district one factory policy commences.

Prof Kwaku Boakye, a tourism wizard from the University of Cape Coast gave an enlightening presentation on tourism. He stated that currently tourism generates more revenue to government compared to oil. Prof Boakye talked about tourism as a contemporary tool for economic development with its potentials recognized by all stakeholders. He cited a few problems with the tourism sector particularly poor data collection and keeping. He said that data collation is a big problem as most tourist sites are unable to accurately state the number of visits per time period. He also hinted that an impeding blow of the tourist boost in the north was as a result of the unrest in the region with regards to safety and security, stating that 4 out of the 5 curfews in Ghana were imposed in the northern region.

Mrs. Catherine Abelema Afeku, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture in a speech read on her behalf applauded the Savanna Accelerated Development for their partnership with her Ministry for the 2017 World Tourism adding that this move will help unveil the potentials of the Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ)

She used the opportunity to appeal to individuals to conserve our water bodies and most tourist sites, to make the places more appealing to tourists.

Mr. Charles Abugre the Chief Executive Officer of the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) hinted that the summit will showcase the diverse rich natural and cultural resources in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone to the world as a way of attracting potential investors and in the long run change the fortunes of the zone. Sustainable tourism will help with the infrastructure development in the Northern Regions and also create the much needed jobs for the youth, Mr. Abugre added.

The World Tourism Day is scheduled for the 27th of September every year. The 2017 World Tourism Day kicked off on the 21st of September with a float through the principal streets of Tamale and is scheduled to end on the 27th of September.