Ghana’s Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has opened a Tourist Information Centre at Jamestown in Accra.
The Centre is intended to serve as the focal point for the administration of guided tours of the Ga Mashie area and also as a key resource in the identification and packaging of the tourism assets of the enclave.
The official opening of the Centre earlier today had in attendance traditional authorities of the area, students, government officials and the general public.
Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah said he was excited that the facility is being commissioned and that “it is very appropriate that the Ministry through Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has found it necessary to set up a tourism information centre which marks the beginning of the process of identifying all tourist sites in Accra and develop them.
He added that the Centre would not just introduce the tourism potential of Accra to visitors but also boost the local economy as visitors throng the area; this he said will have a larger effect on the economy of the capital city.
CEO of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman said the Centre was part of plans that are geared towards making Jamestown a pivotal tourist site in Accra. He said the Authority together with stakeholders was strategizing to develop the tourism enclave of Jamestown.
Key landmark infrastructures such as the Lighthouse and Ussher Fort have been earmarked for redevelopment under these plans, Akwasi hinted. Training of tour guides, he said had been done for some selected people and would continue to in order to train more.
In light of these, Agyeman said and Advisory Committee which comprises a broad spectrum of key stakeholders has been established to provide consultations for the development of the tourism sites within Jamestown. “This is the beginning of greater things to come,” he said.
Officially inaugurating the Centre, Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi said she was delighted the Centre is the outcome of broad consultations and collaboration among many stakeholders including, GTA, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly,Ga Mashie Development Agency, Jamestown Ngleshie Noyaakpe, Deo Gratias, Events Unlimited and West Africa Tour Guides Association.
“I will like to commend the Mayor of Accra for releasing this building which has been renovated by the Ghana Tourism Authority,” she said.
According to Oteng-Gyasi, the Centre could not have come at a better time than now when Ghana is marking the Year of Return. “The events have been largely successful and the country has received very positive international media reviews and celebrity endorsements which we intend leveraging on to consolidate and boost our tourism marketing push in the Americas and other parts of the black diasporan world”
“December promises to be an explosive one with many grand events that will bring thousands into the country and Ga Mashie, a central part of the visitor experience in Accra must be poised to receive the expected visitors,” she added.
Apart from providing visitors information, the Tourist Information Centre also has a photo gallery featuring iconic photos of the Jamestown area and people of pre-independent Ghana which were captured by James K. Bruce Vanderpuije of Deo Gratias Studio which was established in 1922 and remains the oldest photographic studio in Accra.
By: Samuel Obeng Appah