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Ghanaians Asked to Appreciate their Domestic Tourism-Minister

The Minister of Tourism and MP for North Dayi Mrs. Akua Sena Dansua has admonished the citizenry to appreciate their own attractions in Ghana in order to help promote domestic tourism.
The Minister was speaking at a day’s stakeholder’s forum to promote domestic tourism through Junior and Senior high schools. The forum under the theme, “Every child, a Tourism Enthusiast”, is centered on tourism as a development strategy to help achieve the eighth target of the Millennium Development Goals’ and also to engender national unity and cohesion amongst one another. She tasked Ghanaians to make time out of their busy schedules and social activities to patronize tourist attractions in their areas or regions. She said the project will initially be on pilot basis where 20 schools will be drawn from the ten regions and subsequently expanded countrywide. 
She recalled how the Asians had benefited immensely from domestic tourism and has also helped foster national cohesion. She opined that, the use of domestic tourism to promote and integrate the county is a noble project that all must embrace if we are to develop the domestic tourism component.
The North Dayi MP also emphasized that the project would not bring about the creation of new curriculum activities in the school. She assured participants and stakeholders about the backing of the Parliamentary select committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism. She also used the occasion to outline how the select committee is planning to take the business committee of Parliament on a trip to Dodi Islands to further give more impetus to their case.
On his part, director of projects at the Ministry of Tourism, Dr Joel Sonne delivered a power point presentation on the project spelling out the time lines for the project. He said the project is expected to start in the first quarter of 2011 and by 2013, the stakeholders will pause to evaluate and see the achievements and challenges. He also said this project will seek to enhance students’ knowledge and their understanding of their cultural values. Dr. Sonne stressed that, the students can be ambassadors of tourism and emphasizes that, ‘’the catch them young’’ model will work very effectively when carefully managed.  He said in countries where tourism was thriving, it was because they had a strong domestic tourism market.
The Director of Tertiary in the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Mary Quaye said the Ministry was excited when the Ministry of Tourism approached them with this noble project. She said using the youth as a model to champion domestic tourism will be the right approach since it will afford them the time to imbibe the culture of travelling and knowing the getting abreast with the various attraction sites. Mrs. Quaye said education without skills left students with a very narrow mind saying, the project would automatically help promote practical learning in the educational system.
She also reiterated that, this project would not mean creating a new curriculum but rather be added to their co-curricular activities.
Participants and stakeholders from the Ghana Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism, the security agencies, tourism clubs, the informal sector, national service secretariat, Game changers and the media were put in groups to put forward their opinions and suggestions about the program.


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