tourism challenges

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has hinted of its readiness to digitise the collection and administration of fees at tourist sites and national monuments to effectively rake in the needed revenues.

Mrs Catherine Afeku, the sector Minister, said that had become necessary to reduce the systemic corruption and siphoning of state financial resources into private hands.

The initiative, she noted, would ensure rigorous monitoring of the revenue to be collected by blocking all financial loopholes to stop siphoning of monies into private pockets.

The Minister was speaking during a tour of the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles on Tuesday to access the state of the facilities, on the back of a recent video documentary, in which certain individuals were filmed openly defecating close to the Cape Coast Castle, at a time some tourists were visiting.

She also mentioned plans by her outfit to construct a wooden ship on the high rise-deep-seated sedimentary rock close to the Cape Coast castle to add to the Region’s numerous magnificent historical buildings, monuments and cultural artifacts to generate more wealth and employment.

Mrs Afeku stated that the Ministry was poised to lead a consortium of inter-ministerial Committee, made up of Regional Ministers from the Central, Volta, Western and the Greater Accra Regions to effectively collaborate to end the shameful menace.

“The MoTAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Local Government Ministry and the Information Ministry and some of the tourism ambassadors, we would embark on a campaign against open defecation especially among people mainly in the coastal areas,” she said.

At the Regional level, she indicated that a team of key stakeholders made up of the Regional Minister, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and Assembly members would lead the crusade.
In that respect, the Minister called on the various traditional authorities to join forces with the Ministry to drastically reduce ODF at tourist sites without qualms as to the health, economic and social consequences of their action and in action.

She cautioned the public against perpetuating acts that prevent tourists from visiting various attractions in the country, saying that was detrimental to tourism development.

Mr Kwamena Duncan, the Central Regional Minister who accompanied the Minister, pledged to work together with the Regional Committee to practically reduce the ODF especially along the central coast.
He assured that he will engage the fisherfolks who operate close to the Castle who end up defecating and dumping refuse close to the Castle for relocation to sanitise the facility.

Earlier, the Minister paid a courtesy call on Osabarima Kwasi Atta II, Omanhen of Oguaa Traditional Area and Nana Kodwo Conduah VI, Omanhen of Edina Traditional Area to rally their support against ODF.

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