Deputy Director,Abubakari Musah (3rd right) with other dignitaries on the high table.
The government will work closely with the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to explore effective ways of boosting tourism in the Upper West Region.
A Deputy Director of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council (UWRCC), Abubakari Musah who made the remark indicated that the collaboration between the government and GTA will be up-scaled in eliminating infrastructural and logistical challenges facing the tourism sector in the Region.
Mr. Musah was speaking at the Upper West Regional Tourism Awards ceremony for 2016 in Wa when he deputised for the Regional Minister, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani.
Radio Ghana’s Emmanuel Mensah-Abludo says the event was aimed at honouring deserving industry practitioners and other partners who had demonstrated excellence in their work as well as shown commitment towards the development and growth of the tourism sector.
Fourteen awards were up for grab. They included; Tour Guide of the Year, Tourism Oriented Media of the Year, Exemplary Award for Sustainable Eco-Tourism Site of the Year and Two-Star Hotel of the Year.
Mr Musah said tourism in Upper West “is thriving and has registered positive growth over the years.
He pointed out that the smock industry and tourist destinations such as the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary, the Gwollu Slave Defence Wall, the Bone-Setting Clinic, the Wa Naa Palace and other heritage sites continue to attract tourists to Upper West in spite of infrastructural and logistical constraints.
Commenting on the focus of the event “Advancing the Gains of Tourism through Quality Service Delivery”, Mr. Musah stressed the importance of adopting proper measures to consolidate the gains chalked up in the tourism sector in the region in particular and the country as a whole.
The Deputy Director implored the Upper West GTA to step up its roles in supervising, inspecting and licensing of industry players to further raise the bar to meet international best practices.
Mr. Musah announced that improvement works on the Wa Airstrip was progressing steadily and would be completed soon for commercial flights to start operating in Wa.
The Upper West Regional Manager of GTA, Henry Yeleduor challenged players in the tourism sector to be what he termed “ambassadors of service excellence” in their areas of operation through skills transfer and mentoring.
The Chief of Tokali, Naa Walamani Danyagiri who chaired the function regretted that the tourism sector has not been given the needed attention for it to grow saying successive governments have only paid lip-service to the sector.
Tour Guide of the Year award went to Bob Aziz Pelpuo, W93.5 FM emerged the Tourism Oriented Media of the Year with Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary winning the Exemplary Award for Sustainable Eco-Tourism Site of the Year and Nuoyong Empire Hotel grabbing the Two-Star Hotel of the Year title.