As part of efforts to improve the quality of tourism assets in Ghana, parts of the Aburi Botanical Gardens and the Yaa Asantewaa Mausoleum in Ejisu Besease will be upgraded the government has announced.
The contracts for these works have been awarded and the projects are expected to be completed by end of March 2022.
The main components of Phase I of the upgrade in Aburi include works to enhance the entry and exit gates, visitor receptive facilities, washrooms, a car park, play grounds and an event centre.
These were contained in the 2022 budget presented by the Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta before Parliament on Wednesday, 17 November 2021.
Mr Ofori-Atta in addition said preparatory works, including design and procurement processes for the construction of a heritage village are underway.
He noted that stakeholder and community engagement has commenced towards the planned transformation of the Pikworo Heritage and Slave Market, the Salaga Slave Market, and four targeted beaches.
Touching on key results achieved in the Tourism, Arts and Culture sector this year, Mr Ofori-Atta said:
· Targeted roadshows in key source markets led to increased tourism arrivals. By the end of September 2021, inbound arrivals of 411,164 placed the sector on course to achieve its end-year target of 600,000. These road shows have led to some strategic partnerships, including the historic naming of a street after Ghana in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed-Stuy) by the Borough of Brooklyn in New York City. The number of visitors from the sub-region also grew by 13 percent against a target of 10 percent through enhanced marketing strategies.
· Stakeholder engagements and preparatory works for the sector skills revitalisation programme is ongoing. The target is to train and certify 10,000 persons by 2023 on specific tourism and hospitality skills, including product knowledge, customer service, digital marketing, and business development. So far over 500 people, including drivers of car rental companies and taxis, have undergone training in product knowledge improvement.
· A data centre at the Ghana Tourism Authority to enhance industry data collection and provide real-time data is also in place and
· The National Tourism Destination Single Window platform (NTDSWP) to automate the country's tourism operations and enhance service delivery has been completed. Over 300 operators have so far been placed on the platform.