The President of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, has proposed the amendment of the Tourism Act 2011 to ensure the effective utilisation of the Tourism Development Fund.
He advocated for a transparent management of the fund to benefit and support activities of all parties in the tourism industry – both public and private sector.
“This call will involve amending the GTA Act. In the short term, I will want the ministry to ensure that every objective of the fund is pursued without bias.”
“We want the fund to benefit the private sector directly just as the GTA also uses it to support their activities directly,” he told the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on March 22.
He, therefore, called on the Minister designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, to take a critical look at the Tourism Development Fund within her first 100 days in office.
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According to Dr Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, although the board of the Tourism Development Fund consisted of representatives from the GTA, public agencies and the private sector, there was no fair allocation of proceeds from the fund.
“The Tourism Development Fund is more public-sector driven to the detriment of the private sector because although the board comprises representatives from the GTA, public agencies and the private sector, a chunk of the proceeds are used for GTA initiatives,” he said.
That, he attributed to the fact that the fund was being controlled by the GTA, a key regulatory body in Ghana’s tourism industry.
He added that there was the need to review the functions and performance of a board set up by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) with regards to disbursement of proceeds from the fund.
He also admonished Mrs Oteng-Gyasi, among other things, to further the cause of advancing the status of Ghana as a favourable hub for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE).
“The minister should review the status of Ghana as a destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) and produce a blue print on how to make Ghana a preferred destination for MICE,” he noted.
New tourism minister
Mrs Barbara Oteng –Gyasi replaces Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku as Minister designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, after President Akkufo Addo undertook a ministerial reshuffle on February 28.
She appeared before the Appointment Committee of Parliament on March 15.
Prior to her appointment to the new office, she was a deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources.
She is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Prestea Huni Valley Constituency in the Western Region of Ghana.
About the GHA
The Ghana Hotel Association(GHA), established in 1975, is one of Ghana’s tourism industry’s vibrant trade associations and a member of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF).
The GHA comprises a total of 1,150 registered hotels.