TheMinistry of Tourism was created in 1993 with the mandate to develop, promote and coordinate all tourism activities in Ghana. In 2003 the functions of the Ministry were expanded to include the Modernization of the Capital city. In the recent cabinet reshuffle the modernization was removed and instead substituted with a new mandate- Diasporan Relations and the Ministry became known as the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations. However, in 2009 following the change in government in the 2008 elections, the name of the Ministry has reverted back to Ministry of Tourism.
The Ministry of Tourism consists of the Ministry as the policy making body and two implementing agencies - the Ghana Tourist Board, and the HOTCATT.
The State Hotels Corporation which was also a part of the set-up became defunct in 1994/5 and was placed on the list of state-owned enterprises that were to be divested. Until 1993, the tourism sector did not enjoy any degree of priority in the economic development planning of the country. The tourism portfolio had been treated as a sub-sector attached to various ministries as an appendage (Trade, information, etc).
Consequently, the tourism potentials of Ghana only remained latent, making an insignificant contribution to the national economy.
To support and promote the achievement of the overall vision of the Government of Ghana aimed at achieving a per capital income of USD$1000 by 2015 through the realization of the sector’s full potential in contributing to economic wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction, environment conservation, as well as national and international cohesion.
This vision will be achieved through the Ministry‘s effort to generate 20% growth rate per annum till 2015
The Ministry exists to create conducive and favorable environment for sustainable growth and development that would ensure that
- The tourism sector achieve a greater contribution to GDP growth through effective and efficient use of appropriate policies, corporate planning, programmes and projects as well as public-private partnership and
- Sustainable relationship with the Diaspora for resource mobilization and investments.
Policy, Function, Service to Public
The MOT& DR has as its policy objective the development of tourism as one of the leading socio-economic sectors of the country and the promotion of the country as a good quality internationally competitive tourist destination within the framework of maintaining its permanent sustainability. In pursuance of this, the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan relations and its implementing agencies GTB and HOTCATT aim to:
- Maximize the net foreign exchange generated by the industry
- Pursue the development of Ghana’s tourism potentials particularly in the area of job-creation and socio-economic development.
- Promote healthy recreation amongst the youth of the country
- Enhance the capacity of the major players in the industry to deliver quality service through human resource development at all levels.
The functions of the Ministry can be related directly to the roles of GTB, These are:
- Policy formulation, planning and programming for the development and promotion of domestic, regional and international tourism.
- Promulgation of legislation and regulation on Tourism development including investment policies and incentives.
- Maintaining tourism statistics research and Database
- Human resource development within the private and public sectors to effectively promote tourism.
- Liaison with other agencies, international tourism agencies and associations, international donor-assistance agencies and private tourism and NGOs.
- Promoting awareness in Ghana of the benefits of Tourism.
- Ensure quality assurance in the operational units of the industry by undertaking inspection, classification, licensing of registered accommodation and catering enterprises as specified under L.I.1205
- Public relations to ensure free flow of information between the Ministry and the general public
- Publications on the activities of the Ministry and its implementing agencies as well as the industry.
- Regulation and control of the Tourism Industry.
- Registration and licensing of Tour Operators and Travel Establishment, Tour Guides, car rental establishments and charter operators
Participation in the construction of tourism infrastructure particularly in pilot schemes either by itself or in joint venture with Ghanaian or foreign investors.
- Offer a training structure capable of operating and monitoring work-based training in all areas of tourism and Hospitality viz Hotel front office, Housekeeping, food & Beverage, food production and ground handling tourism services.
- Service to the Public:
These activities ensure that restaurant and other public area services are provided under proper hygienic and sanitary condition for visitors to the country in particular.
Professional handling of visitor requirements and needs goes a long way to create a positive image for Ghana.
Contribution to the Economy of Ghana
The tourism sector contributes foreign exchange earnings to the economy. Because of its multifaceted nature, tourism revenue comes in from transportation (airlines, bus, etc.) from (visitors spending on food and Beverages) leisure (entertainments, shopping, community development etc.
Multiplier effects of such dosages of money brought into the country by tourists contribute generally to wealth creation.
Figures of tourism sector earnings and general performance can be found on our website.
One can talk of the above as the tangible contributions. In respect of intangible contribution, tourism generally exposes the citizens to modern development because of the contact that occur during the tourism activity.
The MOT ensures the development and promotion of domestic and international tourism on sustainable basis in order to derive optimum socio-economic growth and positive environmental impact for the benefit of the deprived community in particular and the country at large.
In the final analysis, the Ministry aims at making Ghana a competitive and quality tourism destination within the framework of respect for the country’s cultural, historical and environmental heritage. This fits into the national goal of achieving sustainable and equitable economic growth and accelerated poverty reduction.
Mrs Juliana Azumah-Mensah
Minister of Tourism