Ahead of the Year of Return edition of PANAFEST and Emancipation Day celebrations, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi on Monday, paid a courtesy call on traditional leaders in the Central Region, where most of the activities will be taking place.
She briefed the authorities on the activities marking the yearlong, Year of Return, stating that it is to enable people of African descent to come home and help contribute towards the advancement of Ghana and the African continent at large.
The Minister who was in the company of officials of the ministry, CEOs of Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ghana Tourism Development, called for support from the Chiefs and people of the region to support her Ministry to make the year of Return programme a memorable one.
The Minister said, Ghanaian trademark of hospitality, should be portrayed to the visiting tourists, both locals and internationals in order to turn around the economic fortunes of the country. She intimated that security scanners will be introduce at the slave Castles and would also increase the presence of security apparatus around the Ghana’s attraction sites countrywide.
The CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, also said, the issue of sanitation has been given considerable attention, to help sanitise the Cape Coast environs in preparation towards the many activities that will be held there. He said his outfit has intensified publicity of activities marking the celebrations in order to attract more participants.
Omanhene of Edina Traditional area, Nana Kodwo Condua VI, charged the Ministry of Tourism to take sanitation and security related issues seriously especially at this time when many foreigners and tourists will throng the area for the commemorations and appealed to the Minister to support the traditional council to clean up Cape Coast and its environs ahead of the celebrations.
He mentioned that the success of the events would also depend on the quality of service visitors and tourists received and therefore implored industry players in the tourism sector to step up their service delivery standards.
This year’s PANAFEST and Emancipation Day will be held from July 24 to August 2 at various locations in Accra, Cape Coast, Elmina, Assin Praso and Assin Manso.
By: Samuel Obeng Appah