GTA holds first quarter PPPF in Koforidua to strengthen tourism and hospitality

By Naa Shormei Odonkor

Koforidua, April 10, GNA – The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has held its first quarter private and public partnership forum (PPF) in Koforidua this year.

The forum, which saw about 150 participants, was themed, “Financial Empowerment for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector.”

Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, GTA, Ghana Tourism Federation, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana Hotels Association, Development Bank Ghana, Zenith Bank, the Tourism Society of Ghana, and others.

Addressing the participants, Mr Mark Okraku Mantey, the Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, said financial empowerment was the cornerstone of sustainable growth in every industry.

Therefore, he emphasised the necessity of finding other funding sources from which the tourism sector can harness to ensure the sustainability of the sector, especially for small and medium enterprises in the tourism space.

“Small and medium enterprises form the backbone of our economy. They are the agents of innovation, job creation, and community development,” he noted.

Mr Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, said the PPPF was inaugurated in 2021, although it was established under Article 42 of the Tourism Act 2011 (Act 817).

He stated that the PPPF had a mandate to engage the private sector in discussions about significant issues that impacted the country’s tourism sector’s development.

He mentioned that the tourism sector has trained about 3000 people in areas such as service quality, destination management, digital marketing, and customer service, among others.

He said that the training took place due to concerns raised in previous PPPF held to empower individuals in the tourism sector.

Also, he said more than 13 Memorandums of Understanding have been signed with communities to ensure community empowerment, adding, “Through these MoUs, some tourist sites are being developed.”

He disclosed that a policy paper from the last PPPF held in the Western Region has been developed to ensure that taxes and levies are harmonised.

However, Mr Agyeman indicated that the policy paper that advocated for a flat tax rate for the private tourism sector was not featured in the recent budget statement read in parliament.

Therefore, he reassured us that efforts were still underway to include the agenda in the next budget that parliament would read.