Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has started the process of upgrading selected tourist sites in the country.
Among the sites that have been earmarked for refurbishment are Slave Routes projects, Craft Village project, Kintampo Waterfalls Iconic site Phase 1, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Mole National Park, Shai Resort, Slave Heritage Museum, Bonwire Kente Museum, Tafi-Atome Monkey Sanctuary, Tetteh Quashie Cocoa Museum, Gold Museum and the Kwahu Odweanoma Paragliding Site.
Speaking at a media briefing in Accra recently, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, said the refurbishment of the sites would further the gains of the tourism sector.
She also disclosed that the ministry was committed to promoting domestic tourism under the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, and Feel Ghana” initiative to increase jobs and income of Ghanaians.
“The Ministry in collaboration with the National Commission on Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority, GTP and Street Fashion Company organised the Wear Ghana Festival to promote made in Ghana clothing while creating a bigger platform for Ghanaian goods.
“The Wear Ghana Fashion Night showcased the smock and GTP fabric to position them as the customer’s choice on the global market,” she stated.
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According to Mrs Oteng Gyasi, the tourism sector was one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing the industry to a near halt.
“Despite the setbacks brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, the tourism, arts and culture sectors continue to be led and guided by clear policy directives resulting in considerable gains in four major areas of Policies and Legislations, Diversification of Tourism Products, Programmes/ Projects/Activities and Interventions in Covid and post Covid policies,” she stated.
Among the various programmes initiated are a tourism and culture policy to be completed next year and the approval by cabinet for the implementation of a National Tourism and Hospitality Training Policy to guide a training strategy in the sector.
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The creative arts sector contributes enormously to the Ghanaian economy but players in the industry seem not to be well catered for as reflected by the sad state of aged Ghanaian artistes who most of the time have to make public appeals for financial support.
Currently, most creative arts practitioners are not covered by any risk mitigation measures during critical times such as injury, sickness, old age and loss of equipment.
The Tourism Ministry, Mrs Oteng Gyasi disclosed, would spearhead the development and implementation of a Creative Industry Insurance Scheme (CIIS) for the creative industry. The scheme will be launched in December this year to take effect from January 1, 2021.
Among the many benefits of the insurance scheme are; providing policies that are appropriately tailored to the needs of creative artists and performers in the creative industry and safeguarding the health, income and pensions of creative sector players.
“Beneficiaries of the scheme shall be members of the creative industry who are registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, or any of its implementing agencies and are in good standing. The first year premium will be funded by the government and subsequently self-payment by members from 2022,” she explained.