World Tourism Day marked at Ada
Ghana joined the rest of the world last Wednesday to mark this year’s United Nations World Tourism Day (UNWTD) to create awareness of the importance of tourism among the international community.
The Ghana Tourism Authority observed the day with a grand durbar at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, while the global celebration was hosted in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC), this year’s celebration was on the theme: “Tourism and Green Investments; Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity.”
The day is commemorated on September 27 each year to showcase the sector’s ability to drive economic development, preserve and promote culture and heritage, and provide opportunities for all.
The durbar climaxed a series of activities organised and coordinated by the authority over a three-day period from September 25, 2023.
The Ada Traditional Area was chosen because it is endowed with natural attractions which range from beautiful palm-lined beaches, estuary islands, marine turtles, the meeting point of the Volta River and the Atlantic Ocean, water sports from speed boats to sailing, canoeing, surfing and many more.
Through the rich traditions of the Dangmes, the nation’s beautiful culture was on full display.
There was also a performance by an all-female brass band known as Ada Youth Organisation (AYO).
Present was the Mankralo of Ada State, Nene Agudey Obitchere III, who chaired the event.
It was also attended by other traditional leaders, heads and staff of the Ministry and the GTA, other private sector stakeholders, as well as the general public.
The Deputy Minister of MoTAC, Mark Okraku-Mantey, said green investments in the tourism industry had become crucial as they could contribute a range of economic, social and environmental benefits to the development of the host country and communities.
He said they were means to creating stronger linkages with the local economy and increasing local development potential leading to an indefinite sustainability of activities in the social, economic and environmental context.
“Given that Ghana is a flourishing ecotourism destination, the ministry has commenced investments in tourism-related interventions at some selected eco-tourism sites, namely Buabeng Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, Paga Crocodile Pond, Wechiau Hippo Sanctuary, Aburi Botanical Gardens, Nzulezo Village on Stilts, Mount Afaja and Kintampo Waterfalls,” Mr Okraku-Mantey stressed.
The Deputy Minster, therefore, urged the district assembly to pursue a Public-Private Sector partnership, with the active involvement of all stakeholders to take the lead in aggressive tourism promotion as a priority in its development agenda to create employment and alleviate poverty.
The CEO of the GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, urged the community not to only think of tourism as entertainment but also as serious business.
He said the authority would collaborate with the assembly, the chiefs and the people of Ada to put in place measures that would further commercialise the natural scenery of the area for development.
Nene Agudey Obitchere III urged the ministry and the GTA to assign technical and resource officers to periodically, through the media and other avenues, educate the people on the need to protect their environment as a way of driving tourism to their own socioeconomic development.
“West Africa is the place where everyone is running to for tourism and we in Ada will make it a point that Ada is the foremost destination for tourists when they visit Ghana,” he added.
The District Chief Executive (DCE), Ada East District, Sarah Dugbakie Pobee, used the opportunity to highlight the many sites and activities found in the area and encouraged all to visit the islands.