The Upper East Region celebrated World Tourism Day at Paga on Wednesday with a call on stakeholders to invest in the industry.
The Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Wisdom Ahadzi, who made the call said it would boost the sector and attract more tourists to benefit the various players in the tourism value chain.
Acknowledging the tourism potential in the region, Mr Ahadzi said the Authority would continue to collaborate with the Municipal and District Assemblies in the region to ensure that more investors are attracted to the area.
He believes a boost in tourism would catalyse the socio-economic development of the region.
Mr Ahadzi also noted that World Tourism Day is a conception of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation that is commemorated annually to showcase the sector’s ability to drive economic development and preserve the cultural heritage of member states.
Given that, Ghana is a member of the United Nations in good standing, he said it is incumbent on the nation to join in the celebration and use it as a platform to promote and boost the tourism industry.
Mr Ahadzi also observed that the theme for this year’s celebration, “Tourism and Green Investments: Investing in People, Planet and Prosperity,” emphasises the interdependence between tourism, the environment, the planet and the people.
The District Chief Executive of the Kassena-Nankana West, Mr Gerard Ataogye, commended the GTA for choosing Paga Chief Crocodile Pond for the celebration, stating that the place is one of the tourist hubs of the region.
Touching on the environment, he called on world leaders to take drastic measures to tame emissions levels, stressing that, “if we are unable to reduce our emissions, scientists believe that climate change could lead to the deaths of more than 250,000 people around the globe every year and force some 100 million people into poverty by 2030.”
He lamented the drying up of the Paga Crocodile Pond, a problem he blamed on climate change which is caused by human activities.
He, therefore, called for a concerted approach to protect the pond lest the crocodiles which attract tourists to the area would be endangered.
“We, therefore, owe it a collective responsibility to ensure that the pond is adequately protected to serve the current generation and generations yet unborn,” he stated.
Bala Ali & Peter Atogewe Wedam, ISD