Ghana's ascendancy in the global tourism arena has been reaffirmed as it secures a seat on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Executive Council.
Ghana's victory stands out even amidst stiff competition, as five other nations – Nigeria, Rwanda, Namibia, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo – also secured council seats, though with fewer votes.
The focal point of the 66th UNWTO Commission for Africa meeting was the election of council members. The theme, “Rethinking Tourism for Africa: Addressing global challenges; Promoting Investment and Partnerships,” aptly captured the collaborative and innovative spirit that characterized the discussions.
This accomplishment precedes the formal approval of the new council members at the forthcoming UNWTO General Assembly meeting scheduled for October in Uzbekistan.
The UNWTO Executive Council, working in tandem with the Secretary-General, plays a pivotal role in devising and executing strategies to amplify tourism's global impact.
The council's focus revolves around fortifying tourism's foundation, promoting sustainability, and nurturing cross-border partnerships.
Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Ghana's Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, expressed gratitude for the trust placed in him by his peers. He highlighted Ghana's collective commitment to elevating travel and tourism on the global development agenda, utilizing tourism as a force for positive transformation.
Dr. Awal emphasized Ghana's alignment with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo‘s vision of utilizing innovative strategies to drive tourism, arts, and culture to contribute significantly to national development.
This aspiration includes welcoming two million international tourists by 2025, accompanied by an annual revenue target of $6 billion.
Going beyond numbers, Dr. Awal stressed the importance of sustainable tourism practices to protect the environment while ensuring local communities reap the rewards of tourism.
He also called for investments in tourism infrastructure and capacity-building across the tourism value chain to enhance Africa's competitiveness.