The Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) on Wednesday, 23rd June, 2021 embarked on a promotional Accra city tour as part of sensitization and awareness creation in respect of the Domestic Tourism promotion launched recently by the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo dubbed, “EXPERIENCE GHANA, SHARE GHANA”. Other stakeholders like Tourists Clubs and some media joined the tour which lasted for 3 hours.
The Ghana Tourism Authority, as part of promotion of the domestic tourism drive amongst Ghanaians, outdoored two city tour buses, a double decker bus a.k.a “Aunty Deede” and Mummy Truck, a.k.a “Bone Shaker”. The Tour was aimed at ensuring that the Tour Operators would have an experience of the Coaches in order to sell the Tour Packages accordingly. As the private sector agency that promotes tours within and outside the country, it is the expectation of the Authority that it will definitely live up to expectation as interest of Ghanaians is ignited for the domestic tourism campaign.
The Tour began at exactly 1pm from the Accra Tourist Information Centre (ATIC), through the former Flagstaff House now Jubilee House and then to the Ring Road where the tour continued to the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC). After GBC which is Ghana’s oldest Broadcasting Corporation, the tour made its way through Nima where we could find the residence of His Excellency, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, the President of the Republic. Next off, the most famous interchange in Ghana, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah Interchange , popularly called “Circle”. On through to the Jake Obetsebi Lamptey interchange then to Abossey Okai, one of Ghana’s famous spare parts hub.
The Coach popularly called Aunty Deede was the delight of many and obviously the talk of town as the tour continued. The Tour then made its way to the Bukom Boxing Arena which is adjacent to the junction that leads to the Korle- Bu Teaching Hospital. The tour then made its way pass the Jamestown Fishing Market directly opposite the Fire Service Academy. On the High Street, the tour got to the Lighthouse which is opposite the Ngleshie Alata Mantse Palace. The Group made a stopover at the James Fort where the Tour Guide gave the entire group a tour within the Fort explaining the historical events before independence.
The Ussher Fort was the next on the itinerary. Also, drove pass the Bank of Ghana, the Arts Centre and then to the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, The Law Court Complex and the Ministries. The group’s next stopover was the Independence Square where the team took photos with various symbols and the Accra Sports Stadium. From the Independence Square, the tour continued through to the Oxford Street which one of Ghana’s domestic tourism hub just as the Arts Centre with various artifacts, local prints, cuisine, music, nightlife, etc. From the Oxford Street, the team passed through the Dankwa Interchange then to the Ghana Prisons Headquarters. The tour ended at 1600HRS.
The Tour on Wednesday was the 5th Promotional Tour held by the GTA since its launch in June, 2021. Various groups that have participated included Staff of the GTA, Stakeholders including the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Tour Guides, Tourism Press/Media Corps, etc.
Speaking to the media after the tour, Mr. Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi of the Ghana Tourism Authority reiterated government’s commitment to promote the domestic tourism agenda through such initiatives as the Accra City Tours which will gradually extend to the various regions and districts accordingly. The initiative aims at helping the economy recover from the ravages of COVID 19 and targeting increasing arrivals of 600, 000 by 2022 and one million by 2024. He noted that with the success of the “Year of Return” initiative by government, it is imperative to apply innovative ways and means to ensure the realization of the objectives put in place for the “Beyond the Return” project. He indicated that the packages will include educational, business, and religious tourism that will create a sense of national unity and cohesion as well as raise income from the urban area. He stated that the domestic tourism drive dubbed, “Experience Ghana, Share Ghana” aims at ensuring the realization of the vision of the Sector Ministry ie to whip up interest, create an industry wide tourism wholesale package for on-selling by Operators.
The sector Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Awal Mohammed had indicated the need for massive transformation of the sector through innovation, sectorial collaboration, coordinated strategy to ensure a seamless and affordable tourism experience for Ghanaian tourists in the domestic market and consolidate Ghana’s position as the preferred destination for leisure, meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions in the ECOWAS sub-region.
The President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Mrs. Alisa Asamoah on her part reiterated the commitment of the Tour Operators to ensure the realization of the goals for the promotion of this domestic tourism drive. She therefore took the opportunity to commend the government especially the Hon. Minister, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman in seeing to the transformation of the industry through such initiatives. He urged that more initiatives to whip up interest in domestic tourism should be encouraged to ensure the overall success of the campaign. She expressed appreciation to the executives and members of TOUGHA for embarking on the Tour as a wake-up call to action.