The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry has secured a $40 million loan from the World Bank expected to be used in revamping the country’s tourism sector.
Sector Minister Catherine Ablema Afeku explained Tuesday on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show that the Bretton Woods institution is focusing on four tenets it expects the money to be used for.
The first of these, she said, is strengthening the tourism enabling environment. She said it involves developing the sites and facilities and improving the ambiance.
“…so when you go to Kakum, for example, the washroom will be clean and decentand up to international standards,” she said.
The second component involves developing tourism sites and destinations, she said.
“The Fulla falls in Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region, for instance, is not developed and these are some of the areas we will focus on,” she told the show’s host Daniel Dadzie.
Part of the money will also be used for tourism enterprise support, which the Minister said is her favourite.
Operators in the value chain can get these monies and use it for the capacity building. She explained that elsewhere players in the tourism sector are given loans and grants to develop their art but it is not so in Ghana.
Mrs. Afeku lamented that for all of Ghana’s tourist centres, none have a dedicated hospitality and management training school.
She acknowledged that although there are appendages of it in other universities, it will be expedient for the country to establish a special institute for that.
The tally of Ghanaian managers of hotels will increase if citizens get access to such training instead of expats dominating that space in the country, the Minister highlighted.
The $40 million loan to the Ministry attracts an interest of 1.25% and also has a moratorium of five years.
In addition, 33% of it is a grant which will not be paid back.