Assemblies must prioritise local tourism to stimulate growth

By
Isaac Arkoh, GNA

Cape Coast, Oct. 19,
GNA – Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) have been urged
to efficiently identify and harness the tourism resources in their localities
to bring sustainable development to their Areas.

Dr Kwaku Boakye, a
Lecture at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the
University of Cape Coast (UCC) who made the call also tasked them to prioritise
the development of abandoned and untapped tourist sites to boost the local
economy and help create wealth.

He was speaking in an
interview with the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of a forum organised by
Cities Alliance, an International NGO on “improving sanitation, waste
management and tourism” in Cape Coast on Thursday.

They should not be
content with the limited fees, rate and licenses but take bold steps to make
sound policy framework that will make tourism a key component of their
development agenda.

He advocated a strong
vibrant policy framework to revive the sector as mandated by the Tourism Act
817 (2011) which provided for the development, management, marketing and
regulation of sustainable tourism and tourism related services and for
connected services.

Dr Boakye said
assemblies needed to mobilise revenue to implement their development agenda and
it was important that they found innovative ways to fully exploit the endowed
resources in their jurisdictions to aid development.

The Assemblies must
endeavour to invest in social infrastructure and amenities at the existing
tourist sites to encourage guests to stay in host communities.

According to him, the
lack of standardised accommodation and excellent customer care compelled
tourists to live outside host communities, which negatively affected the local
economy of such communities and the Assemblies.

They must make
conscious efforts to develop and re-brand tourism and services with improved
marketing techniques, roadmaps and documentation to aid visitors.

In addition to that,
they must engage the services of experts, equip them and regularly build the
capacity of stakeholders to rain in their unalloyed support for sustainable
development in their communities.

He challenged
stakeholders in the tourism industry especially, traditional authorities to do
more to help increase the contribution of the sector to national development.

GNA

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