World Tourism Day
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Spain, Madrid based UN Tourism specialist agency, at its General Assembly Meeting in
September 27th was chosen as World Tourism Day (WTD) in reverence to the date in 1970, when UNWTO Statutes were adopted.
The aim of WTD is to raise awareness within the international community the critical role and contribution of tourism to socio-economic development of societies worldwide.
The theme for WTD 2017 is” Sustainable Tourism-a tool for development”.
Importance & relevance of theme
The theme is aptly and appropriately very relevant to both our national and international tourism causes, sustainability is the heart and soul of any meaningful and sustainable tourism development.
Coincidentally UNWTO has sustainable tourism year long as a mandatory project for all member countries, as tourism and UNWTO’s contribution to the attainment of goal three of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Tamale in Focus
Tamale , as the Regional Capital of the Northern Region is officially and formerly the Gateway to the Northern Region and its sister regions as the Upper East and Upper West Regions, especially as Tamale is also the host and home to the Tamale International Airport.
Tamale been a regional capital and a commercial hub has cosmopolitan characteristics of the Ghanaian society.
Tourism overview of Tamale.
The Larabanga Mosque is the most prominent and iconic tourism landmark in the Tamale Metropolis.
The mosque is an ancient beautiful Sudanic architecture, built several centuries ago.
Beautiful arts and artifacts and indigenous clothing of fugu, hats and baskets are common sights of the city of Tamale.
Mole National Park in the West Gonja District is another popular and important tourism attraction in the Northern Region.
Several star rated accommodation and catering facilities are also found around, to cater for the accommodation and catering needs of many visitors to Tamale and beyond.
SADA sponsorship commendable
For the second year running the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) has partnered the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Arts and sponsored the WTD celebrations.
SADA must sustain this commendable strategy, to use tourism to woo tourists and investors to invest into its objects.
All Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) should emulate SADA’s shining example, to embrace and harness individual unique tourism potentials to accelerate and prosecute the Local Economic Development agenda as envisioned by Act 936, 2016.
All assemblies have the rarest opportunity to create unique and attractive tourism events in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority.
More so our offensive try an error tourism development approach is contrary UNWTO best industry norms and conventions and counterproductive, we must adopt a consistent and sustainable national tourism development strategy.
We must furthermore give effect and operationalize the Tourism Development Fund as provided by the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817, sections 21 to 23.
The Northern Regional Capital Tamale Jubilee Park, would come alive on 27th September, to celebrate World Tourism Day.
Essence of WTD
The essence of World Tourism Day is to reiterate the contribution and impact of the tourism sector to the socio-economic development of all countries globally.
The tourism sector is the largest, biggest and fastest emerging industry in vogue globally, rescuing many challenged and or emerging economies.
The Ghanaian tourism industry is not left of the global tourism phenomena, though it is growing below expectation and its capacity according to industry expects.
Legal & regulatory regime
Executive Instrument 2013 re-aligned the Ministry of Tourism, 1993 into the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, later re-designated as Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, 2017 as the statutory technical ministry, to formulate national tourism development policies.
Whilst the Tourism Act 2011, Act 817 is the Legislative Instrument (LI) that regulate the Ghanaian Tourism Sector.
Act 817 again created the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), as the statutory tourism industry regulator, whilst Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) exists as the umbrella mouthpiece for all private tourism practitioner trade associations, that advocate for favourable and conducive business environment and incentives for practitioners.
Initiatives & achievements
The Ministry drafted and launched the country’s first long term comprehensive tourism policy in 1996 known as the 1996-2010 (15-year) tourism policy.
It out-doored the second national tourism policy in 2013 dubbed 2013-2027 15-year tourism policy.
Over the years, the sector Ministry has undertaken some other major initiatives that resulted in some notable achievements.
Among these are the annual Okwahu Paragliding Festival, National Chocolate Day, National Tourism Awards among others.
The Ministry has created an enabling environment for celebrated foreign and local hospitality brands to setup offices in the country.
Among them are Papaye, Traffix, Azemra,Lindador,Joeffel, KFC, Asanka, Frankies, Noble Chinese, KCS,La Palm Beach, Labadi Beach, Royal Senchi, Kempiski, Movenpic Ambassador,Golden Tulip, Fiesta Royale, Tang Palace.