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Dr Ibrahim Awal (2nd from left), Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, and Robert Gumede, Chairman of GUMA Group, displaying the documents  after the signing ceremony in Accra. With them is Kwadwo Odame Antwi, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Development Company Ltd
Dr Ibrahim Awal (2nd from left), Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, and Robert Gumede, Chairman of GUMA Group, displaying the documents after the signing ceremony in Accra. With them is Kwadwo Odame Antwi, Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Development Company Ltd

3 Tourist sites to receive facelift

An investment company in South Africa, GUMA Group, has signed a partnership deal with the government to invest $5 million to improve three tourist sites in the country.

The sites are the Shai Hills Resource Reserve, the Mole National Park and the Kakum National Park.

This came to light when the group signed a pact with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in Accra yesterday.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, signed the agreement on behalf of the government while the Chairman GUMA Group, Robert Gumede, signed for his company.

Details

At Shai Hills, the group will upgrade the current tented camp to a luxury facility with rooms, a restaurant and a cultural village.

The group will also develop the two new sites at the Mole National Park to provide accommodation and restaurant services, in addition to other product offerings associated with the chosen site.

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The Kakum National Park will also have an eco-lodge to provide tourists with overnight accommodation at two identified sites.

The accommodation will include tree top houses, mobile tented camps and picnic sites.

In addition, the GUMA Group will establish a restaurant to offer meals to visitors.

The projects will be completed within the next 60 months.

The partnership

Explaining the motivation for the investment, Mr Gumede said Ghana was pregnant with rare and very good products which needed proper investment to uncover their full benefits.

He said the partnership would bring significant investments into the country.

While thanking the government for giving his company the opportunity, he gave an assurance that within the shortest possible time, work would commence on the selected sites.

Mr Gumede also encouraged other investors to develop more tourism facilities, particularly hotels, to accommodate the number of tourists that would be visiting the country.

He said the group would focus more on inbound tourism by bringing credible tourists from across the western world.

“Within this West African region, Ghana is our home and we believe that we can only grow from Ghana to the rest of the world.

 We want Ghana to become very important to tourists and we are hoping that we will finally implement our dream project which is to build the biggest resort in the country,” Mr Gumede said.

Government efforts

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture also indicated that tourism was government-led and private sector-driven and, therefore, the government wanted to open opportunities for the private sector to drive it.

Dr Awal said the government was poised to lead Ghana to become one of the most preferred tourism destinations in the region.

“Our target by 2026 is to achieve two million arrivals and that can give us a minimum of $2 billion. Our plan is to create 150,000 jobs every year from the tourism, arts and culture sector,” the minister added.

Dr Awal said the ministry was poised to move tourism to the apex of the sectors that contributed most to the country’s total productivity, measured by gross domestic product (GDP).

“The support from the GUMA Group will help add value to all the attractions that we have in the country.

 Most of the sites are there in their natural state but we can add value to them by attracting the right investors,” the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture said.

“We are going to work hand in hand with the GUMA Group to make sure that within the next few years, Ghana moves from the best in West Africa in terms of tourism destination to among the top three in Africa,” Dr Awal said. 

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