The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on Tuesday inaugurated the first ever “Let’s Tour Ghana” Tourist Club as part of its domestic tourism campaign.
The Club, initiated by the 2021 National Service Personnel of the GTA Head office is aimed at promoting domestic tourism.
Mr Ekow Sampson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in Charge of Technical Services, GTA, said the setting up of the tourist club had come at a time when the GTA was embarking on an aggressive domestic tourism campaign with the flagship project “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana.”
He said the GTA since the outbreak of COVID-19 had embarked on series of campaigns to draw the attention of Ghannaianns to the need to visit “our numerous diverse natural, cultural and historic sites all geared towards domestic tourism promotion.”
Mr Sampson said one of the key functions of the GTA was to promote international and local tourism, saying domestic tourism was the basis of a strong hospitality industry and the foundation of good transport services.
“Domestic tourism gives people the opportunity to learn more about their country and helps to inspire a sense of national identity and unity. It also helps to redistribute income within the country, especially from the urban rich to the rural poor areas.”
Mr Sampson said the formation of the club would, therefore, give the personnel the opportunity to learn more about their country’s cultural, natural and historical environment, saying the travel experience would always stay with them and lead them on in future to be tourist-minded in their career.
He called on religious bodies, schools, corporate bodies and authorities to encourage the formation of tourist clubs in their institutions to encourage local travels.
Mr Sampson also asked employers to set up paid annual leave or holiday grants to encourage workers to travel within the country.
Mr Isaac Kofi Arthur, Leader, “Lets Tour Ghana” said since the outbreak of COVID-19, the tourism industry had been greatly affected, and that, with the introduction of vaccines, it was time to rebuild the industry by first helping to re-establish the domestic tourism drive and re-ignite people passion as far as tourism was concerned.
He said the time had come to educate Ghanaians by letting them know the tourist sites in Ghana and the history behind them so that they would not end up becoming strangers in their own motherland.
“The ‘Year of Return’ was splendid and the ‘Beyond the Return’ will be amazing as we have kicked off with this initiative to collectively get every youth and everyone involved in tourism promotion in the country,” he added.
Mr Arthur noted that plans were underway to set up the club in various schools and to get all National Service Personnel involved.
He said the Club’s first tour would be to the Tsenku Waterfalls and Shai Hills in Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region, on March 27.