African countries urged to reduce inter-flights costs to boost tourism

Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, Tuesday, expressing concern about the high airfares in Africa, asked African countries to open up their air spaces by reducing the taxes on inter-country flights to boost the tourism industry.

He said Ghana was collaborating with other West African countries to facilitate movement within the sub-region as part of the continental initiative to facilitate visa-free movement in Africa.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Vice President said, was seriously working on the issuance of electronic-visas as one of the mechanisms to attract more tourists into Ghana.

Vice President Bawumia was addressing the World Tourism Summit, in Accra.

The Summit was initiated to bring experts, enthusiasts, key players and stakeholders in the tourism industry globally, to promote investment and fill a gap in the international tourism industry.

Ghana has become the first African country to host the Summit, which has enjoyed steady growth since its inception in 2014.

The Vice President said Ghana had witnessed a rise in its tourists’ arrivals from 286,600 in 1995 to an estimated 1.2 million, in 2016.

He said tourism alone contributed about three per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and provided about 450,000 jobs in 2016, and other indirect benefits.

The Vice President said the Summit was of great importance to the nation as it was aligned with its goal of positioning itself as a major tourism hub on the Continent.

He said the Government was committed to improving the tourism potentials and would, therefore, work very hard towards ensuring that the nation achieved its goals within the next couple of years.

Vice President Bawumia said: “As a country, our strengths lie in our warm, welcoming and friendly environment, in terms of our people, our natural environment, security, as well as a stable political climate.”

He said Ghana was focused on building new and upgrading existing tourism infrastructure to support the tourism…

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