World Tourism Day marked with tree-planting – GTA moves to identify tourism potential in Upper East
The Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Wisdom Ahadzi, has said his outfit will partner with the Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) to identify tourism potential in their respective areas.
He said the region was endowed with a lot of tourism potential and that it was important that the GTA collaborated with the various MDAs to identify and develop them to reap their full benefits.
He said the GTA would partner with investors to develop the identified areas of attraction for the economic, social and environmental benefits of all and added that “it is important for the tourist attractions to begin the development drive in the region”.
Mr Ahadzi was speaking at a brief regional celebration to commemorate this year’s World Tourism Day in Paga in the Kassena Nankana West District.
It was on the theme: “Tourism and green investment; Investing in people, planet and prosperity”.
September 27, each year, is commemorated as World Tourism Day to showcase the tourism sector’s unique ability to drive economic development, preserve and promote culture, heritage and opportunities for all.
The day is also marked to highlight the need for more and better-targeted investments for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) roadmap for a better world by 2030.
It further aims at making people understand the joy of exploring the world.
“As we redefine the direction of tourism on the back of the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, green investments in the tourism industry have become crucial, as they contribute to far-ranging economic and socioeconomic benefits for the host country and communities,” Mr Ahadzi said.
He added that green investments were a means to creating stronger linkages with the local economy and increasing local development potential, leading to an indefinite sustainability of activities in the social, economic and environmental context.
Further, he called for more support from all key stakeholders towards putting the region on the tourism map across the world.
The Upper East Regional Minster, Stephen Yakubu, in a speech read on his behalf, said the Paga Crocodile Pond was facing increasing threats, which could undermine the existence of the crocodiles.
He said climate change was one factor that posed a severe predicament to the existence of the crocodiles and added that “the water level in the pond reduces drastically during the long dry season as a result of the poor vegetative cover”.
He said it was the collective responsibility of all to ensure that the pond was adequately protected to serve both current and future generations.
As part of the event, some trees were planted by some key personalities at the Chief Crocodile Pond, one of the crocodile ponds in the district.
In Cape Coast, the Central Regional Office of the GTA, in collaboration with the Geotourism Club of the University Practice Senior High School (SHS) in Cape Coast also embarked on a tree planting exercise to mark this year’s World Tourism Day.
Members of the club and officials of the GTA jointly planted about 150 trees to mark the day.
The Central Regional Director of the GTA, Kwame Gyasi, stated that the exercise was to help make the environment greener and healthier.
He indicated that promoting tourism among the youth was important to sustain the sector to promote its contribution to the development of the nation.
Mr Gyasi said there could be no tourism without a serene green environment and added that it built the right habits in the young ones.
A Senior Standard and Quality Assurance Officer at GTA, Isaac Annobil Ghanney, said the theme was to ensure tourism investments did not negatively impact the environment.
He said the exercise was to preserve and add to the greenery of tourism.
The Patron of the Geotourism Club of the UPSS, Mark Anthony Kwarshie, said tourism, particularly domestic tourism, had great potential that had not been fully harnessed.
The club, he said, was to promote tourism among students through excursions and educational programmes.
The President of the club, Christopher Odame and his Vice, Precious Annan, appealed for support to help the club visit more tourism sites in the country and said it promoted learning among students.
Source: Graphic Online