Business News of Wednesday, 11 March 2015
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has confirmed Ghana as the host country for the branding conference of Africa’s Image for CAF Members.
Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare, Minister of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts, disclosed this to the media after a meeting with the Secretary General of UNWTO Dr Taleb Rifai and his team when visited the Ghana stand at the ITB Berlin fair in Germany.
In a release issue to the Ghana News Agency on Monday in Accra, Mrs Ofosu-Adjare said that, the Conference which was scheduled to come off in August last year had to be postponed due to the circumstance at the time.
She added that, the conference has finally been given the green light by the leadership of the UNWTO to come off from 17-19 August 2015 in Accra with an unchanged theme as ‘The Brand and Image Regional Conference for Africa’’
She further stated that, the Ebola situation that affected tourism in Africa was certainly going to be a test case in discussing issues at the conference.
“Am confident the conference has come at an opportune time and will afford Ghana an opportunity to showcase our rich culture, history and heritage to the rest of the world.
Mrs Ofosu- Adjare added that the confirmation of the conference goes to affirm the confidence and endorsements the World Tourism body has in the country and Africa as a whole.
In terms of foreign exchange earnings, the minister spoke of the benefits of having more than 50 ministers of tourism and the private sector from the whole of Africa flying into Ghana, booking into international class hotels and spending monies on artifacts, among others.
She said Ghana was going to host a successful event and the benefits to the tourism enterprises in Ghana will be enormous.
Madam Elcia Grandcourt, UNWTO Regional Director for Africa, said “Africa has an image problem. The African brand has, for too long, been the story of persistent wars, poverty, disease, name them – all negative. The world dwells too readily on the negatives when there is so much positive coming out of Africa, a continent of so much beauty, with so much potential”.
“We must reverse it, and tourism can reverse it. We have to come together to package Africa as the world’s preferred destination.”
She said the conference coming up this time will help discuss the issues thoroughly and the Ebola case of reference will be brought to bear.