On this World Tourism Day 2023, the Tour Operators Union of Ghana stands as a vocal advocate for the theme of the year: “Tourism and Green Investments.”
This theme is not just a celebration but a call to action, a vision for the future of tourism in Ghana that we passionately endorse. As representatives of the tourism industry, we advocate for essential steps that government and stakeholders should be taking to realise the potential of green investments in our nation.
Tourism plays an undeniable role in Ghana’s economic landscape, contributing significantly to our GDP. Therefore, we believe it is imperative for both the government and stakeholders to actively support the transition towards green investments in tourism.
We call for investments in sustainable tourism ventures that not only reduce the environmental impact but also promise significant returns on investment. These investments can take the form of eco-friendly accommodations, renewable energy solutions, and responsible tourism practices.
Furthermore, enhancing tourism-related infrastructure should be a top priority. We urge stakeholders to invest in modernizing and expanding Ghana’s tourism infrastructure, which includes transportation, technology, and accommodations. These enhancements are vital for attracting more visitors and ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for them.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are at the heart of any thriving industry, and tourism is no different. We encourage the government and stakeholders to foster an environment that encourages investments in innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors, benefiting all those involved in the sector.
Supporting tourism startups is a crucial step in this direction. By providing financial support and mentorship to emerging entrepreneurs within the tourism sector, we can diversify Ghana’s tourism offerings, create new business ventures, and stimulate economic growth through innovative ideas and projects.
In this digital age, the adoption of technology is paramount for attracting modern travelers. Therefore, we stress the importance of investing in digital solutions that enhance the customer experience, streamline operations, and position Ghana as a technologically advanced travel destination.
Our commitment to green investments extends beyond economic interests. We believe in investing in our people, our nation’s prosperity, and continued progress. This calls for active engagement with local communities to ensure that tourism investments generate employment opportunities, economic growth, and sustainable development. Initiatives that empower communities through education and skills development should be at the forefront of our efforts.
Investment in people also means helping build capacity of female leadership in the industry. It is no secret the crucial role women, both young and old play in tourism growth in Ghana and across the world. Yet, positions of decision making and shot-calling are largely men-dominated. World Tourism Day 2023 is a fine opportunity to amplify this concern and allow for greater participation in the higher levels of the tourism value chain.
Promoting sustainable certifications within the industry is another crucial step. This ensures that tourism investments align with international standards, attracting discerning travelers and enhancing the return on investment. We urge the government and stakeholders to actively participate in this endeavour.
In alignment with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which emphasises the need for more and better-targeted investments for people, planet, and prosperity, World Tourism Day 2023 serves as a call to action. We unite with the international community, urging the government, multilateral financial institutions, development partners, and private sector investors to collaborate and craft a new tourism investment strategy.
Finally, the Tour Operators Union of Ghana’s advocacy for a comprehensive approach to green investments in tourism is a call on the government and stakeholders to actively support this transition by investing in sustainable ventures, enhancing infrastructure, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and promoting sustainable practices within the industry. By doing so, we can pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous future for Ghana’s tourism industry, benefiting our economy and enriching the lives of our people.
The writer, Mrs. Alisa Osei-Asamoah is the President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA).