-- of attaining middle income status by 2015 through the realisation of the tourism sector's full potential in contributing to economic wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and environmental conservation, as well as national cohesion. These objectives can be obtained through the implementation of selected programmes and activities.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism continues to perform its core functions and programmes aimed at supporting the national development goals of attaining middle income status by 2015 through the realization of the tourism sector's full potential in contributing to economic wealth creation, employment generation, poverty reduction and environment conservation as well as national cohesion. These objectives can be obtained through the implementation of selected programmes and activities.
Mr Speaker, I therefore, humbly request the House to approve an amount of seventeen million, two hundred and twenty-five thousand, one hundred and sixty-seven cedis (GH¢17,225,167) which has been allocated to the Ministry of Tourism for its programmes and activities for the year 2011.
In 2010, the Ministry was allocated a budget of GH¢7,757,089, which was used for the implementation of the programmes and activities of the Ministry. These include participation in major international exhibitions and fairs to showcase Ghana's products and place Ghana on the tourism
On the domestic front, the Ministry organized the International Tourism Investment Forum as well as major events, such as the Paragliding Festuval at Atibie, Kwahu, Emancipation Day Celebration and the World Tourism Day at Nchiraa, Wenchi, Brong Ahafo Region.
Furthermore, the Ministry in its efforts to vigorously promote domestic tourism undertook an educational and awareness creating programme on our tourist sites by putting together a programme dubbed, “Ghana time to explore” with the maiden event being organized at the Aburi Botanical Gardens on the 6th of March,
Additionally, the Ministry continued with work on the construction of tourist receptive facilities of which three are 90 per cent completed at Adasewase, Akwamufie and Agogo. Receptive facilities construction at Saltpond, Salaga, Gwollu and Wli will be continued in 2011. The upgrading of the official tourism website is on course plus an additional website to facilitate global access to our tourism products.
Mr Speaker, the activities that the Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with its implementing agency, the Ghana Tourist Board will undertake in 2011, have been grouped under the following programmes:
ii. Domestic tourism promotion;
iii. Product development;
iv. Quality service delivery; and
v. Human resource development.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry of Tourism has been allocated an amount of seventeen million, two hundred and twenty-five thousand, one hundred and sixty seven cedis (GH¢17,225,167) for the 2011 fiscal year.
Out of this allocation, GH¢7,145,700 is GoG, GH¢9,650,837 is internally generated funds (IGF) and GH¢28,629 is from donor as can be seen on page 86 of the Budget Statement.
I must note that the significant increase of the budget allocation as compared to 2010 is based on an IGF generation of GH¢9,650,837 for which the Ministry will be challenged in its realization.
The 2011 Budget allocation will be used to undertake aggressive marketing of the tourism sector both domestically and internationally. The Ministry will among others:
a. participate in international and local fairs and exhibitions to showcase Ghana's tourist products for patronage;
b. organize major domestic events such as the Paragliding Festival/National Chocolate Day, Emancipation Day/ PANAFEST, World Tourism Day to promote both international and domestic tourism;
c. advertise Ghana in major international and local media including in-flight magazines of major airlines flying to Ghana;
d. undertake e-marketing; including production of e-Brochures to improve global access to information on Ghana's products;
e. place emphasis on the development and packaging of the tourist products at the district level by working closely with the District Assemblies;
f. carry out tourism infrastructural development including construction of tourist receptive facilities;
g. facilitate private investments for development of tourist facilities at the various tourist sites;
h. organize training for private sector hospitality service providers and undertake vigorous inspection for tourism enterprises in the formal and informal sectors as part of ensuring quality assurances and standards in service delivery;
i. undertake monitoring and evaluation through field visits to tourist plants and sites to track performance in line with deepening ongoing institu- tionalisation and internalisation of policy formulation, planning, and M&E system at all levels; and
j. organize Public-Private-Partnership Forum, Inter-Ministerial Committee on Tourism Meetings and Ministerial Advisory Board Meetings.
Mr Speaker, the Ministry is grateful for the Government's continuous commitment to ensure that the tourism sector becomes the number one foreign exchange earner for the non-oil economy. The tourism industry continues to be the most dependable sector in terms of its contribution to GDP, foreign exchange earnings and wealth creation.