Ghana is positioning itself as a Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) destination in order to diversify the country’s tourism product mix.
This is according to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi who during an interview at the just ended WTM London stated that the new focus on MICE is further recognition of the importance of tourism to the Ghanaian economy by government.
“The Government of Ghana has identified tourism as a strategic pillar for the transformation of the economy of Ghana. And we are doing everything to promote tourism in Ghana. Strategically, we want Ghana to be the preferred destination for conferences and meetings.
“This year we have hosted a series of conferences in Ghana which cut across all the sectors of the economy. We have hosted conferences for the environment, for mining, for health, for education and we happy to host the UNWTO Women Empowerment Conference for the African Region.”
The Ghana Tourism Authority currently has a National Convention and Visitors Bureau which is mandated to help facilitate MICE activities in the country.
On the country’s participation in the WTM London, the Minister said is important for because it gives the country the chance to sell to the international community and drive tourism traffic into Ghana.
“This has been great for Ghana and participating in WTM, especially the Ministerial Forum which looked at how we can support rural communities through tourism; because we realized that for us in Ghana, most of our tourist sites are locate in rural areas.
If we are going to develop this rural economy, then we need to support these tourism sites, develop them and then the local communities will benefit through economic development. We believe that our participation has been helpful, we’ve gained a lot of insights into certain areas that we are also going to develop in Ghana to derive the benefits from tourism as we expect,” she stressed.(VA).