Hon. Dzifa Gomashie, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts has thrown an invitation to the world to attend the Chalewote Street Art Festival and the Black Star International Film Festival to be held in Accra respectively.
She said this while addressing participants at the South Africa Tourism organized West Africa Trade Roadshow at the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra on Friday. She said these two events express the Ghanaian heritage and culture very well and therefore presents an opportunity for those who want to know about Ghanaian culture to attend. Both events will take place this month in Accra.
The deputy minister was expressing the fact that if there was anything Ghana needs to package and sell to outsiders more than anything else it was the country’s very rich culture. She admonished tour operators to identify “what about our culture is sellable” and package them well to sell to tourists who would like to visit because of such culture.
While praising SA Tourism for taking the time to train Ghanaian travel and tour operators on how to better sell South Africa to their clients, Hon. Gomashie urged Ghanaian tour operators to learn from their South African counterparts to better sell Ghana’s cultural heritage to the world.
The Annual South African Tourism West Africa Roadshow is organized by South Africa Tourism to host travel and tourism trade workshops where West African Trade (travel agents) engage with SA product owners to promote South Africa as a preferred holiday destination.
The aim of the workshops are to equip the West Africa travel and tourism operators to effectively sell holiday travel packages to South Africa. The 2016 roadshow kicked off in Kumasi Wednesday and proceed to Accra on Friday. The next legs of the roadshow will take the South Africa team to Nigeria for similar workshops in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Speaking at the Accra event, the South African High Commissioner to Ghana Ms. Lulama Xingwana, underscored the fact that there were similarities in Ghana’s and South Africa’s history and compared the exile of Asantehene Prempeh I to the Seychelles to Mandela’s imprisonment on Robben Island.
She thus urged the South African delegation to find strong destinations in Ghana to sell to South African tourists and encouraged the Robben Island team in the delegation to find a way to connect with the slave castles in Ghana as both share similar history.
Ms. Xingwana called on South African hotel chains Sun International Hotels and Tsogo Sun to bring their delectable hospitality to Ghana. “I will like you to come and build hotels in Ghana,” the High Commissioner said.
The workshops are hosted in partnership with the tourism trade organizations in Ghana and Nigeria. In Ghana the partnering associations were Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Ghana Association of Travel and Tourist Agents (GATTA) and Ghana Travel Operators Federation (GHATOF) in Ghana. In Nigeria the associations were National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) and National Association of Travel Operators (NATOP).
The Regional Director for Africa at South African Tourism, Ms. Evelyn Mahlaba, was very happy for the turnout and grateful to the partners TOUGHA, GHATOF and GATTA for working with her team in West Africa to ensure that the roadshow in Accra and Kumasi were successful.
“We are completely humbled and, excited by the turn out from the first trade workshop. It was made possible because of relationships forged over the years with the GHATOF and TOUGHA organizations who have been pivotal to driving the success of this tradeshow. We thank them profusely for guiding us and being our eyes, ears and voice in market where we are not physically present,” she said.
A delegation of South African tourism industry businesses were at the workshops to sell their products to Ghanaian tourism and travel agencies. Among the delegation were South African Airways, Sun International Hotels, Tsogo Sun Hotels, Gauteng Tourism Authority, Saxon Hotel, Robben Island, KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board and Legend Tours.
Submitted by Francis Doku