Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, has said it was important to strike a delicate balance between economic growth and environmental conservation to protect the natural resources
for future generations.
He said, "by embracing eco-friendly initiatives, promoting responsible traveland fostering community engagement, we can create a tourism sector that not only brings economic prosperity but also leaves a positive and lasting impact on our environment."
Dr Awal made this observation at opening of the maiden Presidential summit on tourism, on Tuesday, in Peduase in the Eastern Region
The two-day summit on the theme: "Rethinking tourism for economic growth and job creation" is aimed at bringing tourism stakeholders together to explore new approaches to the industry, which prioritize national development, job creation and sustainable tourism.
He said the summit presented stakeholders the opportunity to strengthen the Public Private Partnership Forum, harness the collective wisdom and devise strategies that would elevate Ghana to new heights in the global tourism arena.
Dr Awal said the country had the opportunity to collectively shape the future of the tourism sector, by unlocking its full potential as a catalyst for economic growth, job creation, cultural preservation and social development.
"Our commitment to sustainable tourism practices, coupled with the warm hospitality of our people, has made us a sought-after destination. However, we must not rest on our laurels."
He said it was also important to recognize the transformative power of tourism in promoting cultural exchange and understanding.
"Ghana's vibrant arts and cultural heritage are invaluable assets that can drive tourism growth. By preserving and showcasing our traditional music, dance, visual arts, and culinary delights,
we can captivate the imaginations of travellers, enabling them to connect with our history and traditions in a meaningful way."
The sector minister noted that in an increasingly interconnected world, technology had emerged as a vital tool in promoting tourism.
We must leverage digital platforms, and innovative marketing strategies to showcase the best of Ghana to the global audience.
By embracing digital transformation and investing in smart tourism initiatives, we can enhance visitor experiences, improve connectivity, and create new opportunities for local entrepreneurs and small businesses."
He urged participants to seize the moment to shape a roadmap for Ghana's tourism sector that was inclusive, sustainable, and resilient.
Mr Akwesi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority, said the theme for the summit resonated deeply with the vision and aspirations of the GTA in seeking to make the country a destination of choice for travellers seeking authentic experiences.
He said, "we have in the last few years witnessed the potential of tourism in driving economic growth, creating jobs, and fostering sustainable development. However, to fully capitalize on this potential, we must constantly adapt, innovate, and rethink our approach to tourism."
He said the GTA recognized that the tourism sector had the potential to stimulate various industries, including hospitality, transportation, arts and crafts, and agriculture
"By strategically aligning our policies and programmes, we hope to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, attract investment into the sector, and empower local entrepreneurs."
"As we rethink tourism, we must be mindful of sustainability and responsible tourism practices. The road ahead is filled with immense opportunities and I urge all stakeholders to collaborate, share knowledge, and leverage our collective expertise to unlock the full potential of tourism in Ghana. Together, let us build an inclusive and sustainable tourism sector that generates prosperity for all."