Saturday, September 29, 2007
Promote community-based tourism – Dapaah
Story: RAS LIBERTY AMEWODE
THE Minister of Lands, Forestry and Mines, Ms. Esther Obeng Dapaah, has advocated an elaborate programme to promote community-based tourism to include local women in the country.
That, she said, would foster employment and create income-generating activities for women in the communities.
Ms. Dapaah said this in an address at the official opening of a national exhibition to mark World Tourism Day in Accra.
The exhibition was on the theme: “Tourism opens doors for women”.
She said as the most vulnerable members of society, women needed support in developing the necessary skills to improve their economic and social conditions.
“Community-based tourism programmes will make local women financially independent and challenge them to develop the necessary skills to improve their economic and social conditions”, she said.
Ms. Dapaah called for collaboration between the central government and local government institutions to develop simple strategies for the promotion of community-based tourism products such as handicrafts, food, clothes, among others.
She recommended an improvement in women’s access to education and training in the areas of marketing, financial and business management to ensure accelerated growth in the tourism industry.
The Deputy Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, Mr. Kofi Osei Ameyaw, earlier in a welcoming address, had announced that tourism was the fourth largest foreign exchange earner in the country, which fetched a total of $931 million in revenue last year, representing a 16 per cent increase over the previous year’s figure.
He said the celebration of World Tourism Day was aimed at fostering awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism in the socio-economic development of a country, adding that “the business of tourism will soon overtake the oil and automobile industries”.
The Deputy Minister for Women and children’s Affairs, Mr. Daniel Dugan, in a solidarity message from the Ministry, said tourism was another avenue for educating the child and expressed the hope that the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations would serve that purpose.
He noted with regret the anti-social activities and other vices such as child pornography and prostitution that had plagued the tourism industry of late, adding that the development was of major concern to his Ministry.
He said the Ministry was putting in place a programme to address that problem and expressed the hope that all stakeholders in the tourism industry would come together to combat the menace.
Daily Graphic - Saturday, September 29, 2007 Page: 20