The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) is a Ghanaian state agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture responsible for the regulation of tourism in Ghana.
It is tasked to market, promote, license, classify, research and develop tourism facilities and services in the country.
Established in 1960 as the Ghana Tourist Board, it was renamed as the Ghana Tourism Authority in 2011 under Act 817. The Act extended the tasks of the Agency to oversee the implementation of government policies in the industry.
The Act also makes the Authority a fully-fledged income generating authority by establishing a fund to which every tourism business is required to contribute one per cent (1%) of its revenue to tourism development.
Mr Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi, Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs, said since its establishment 62 years ago, the GTA had delivered on its mandate of promoting and marketing tourism both in Ghana and abroad, including the publication of tourism publicity and promotional materials, participation in fairs and exhibition and special events.
It has received numerous recognitions both home and abroad, despite the numerous challenges that came with it.
As the key-implementing agency of tourism policies, the GTA, among other things, is responsible for regulating tourism enterprises, namely accommodation, catering, travel and tour and charter operations through registration, inspection, licensing and classification.
It also carries out research and studies on trade in the tourism industry both home and abroad to aid decision and policymaking and facilitate the development of tourist facilities and products.
Its vision is to be the main driver for the growth and to see Ghana become the leading sustainable Tourist Destination in West Africa by 2026.
Mr Kusi said “as part of our values, we are committed to, service excellence, building a highly motivated and dedicated staff, responsible tourism, fairness, transparency and accountability, stakeholder partnerships, and preserving Ghana’s Cultural Heritage.
He said the GTA’S goal is also to ensure sustainable development of tourism through, deployment of the best technology and ICT, effective regulation and standardization, strengthening partnerships, aggressive marketing and robust investment promotion, uplifting industry service, safety and health standards, and enhancing accountability and shared responsibility.
FLAGSHIP PROGRAMMES AND ACTIVITIES
The major flagship programmes of the Authority include the National Chocolate Day Celebrations, PANAFEST and Emancipation Day, Paragliding festival, December in GH, UNWTO World Tourism Day, National Tourism Awards.
Mr Kusi said the plan to make Ghana the number one tourism destination in ECOWAS and the most attractive tourist destination in West Africa saw the birth of great initiatives and implementation of many projects by the Ghana Tourism Authority.
Some of which include Domestic/Regional tourism campaign, making Ghana the preferred MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Events) destination, Marketing Ghana at the Dubai Expo, Destination Ghana, Year of Return, Beyond the Return, Center of the world, among others.
“Another step to achieve this goal was for Tourism stakeholders such like TOUGHA, TORGAG, CRAG, and Hotels Association to give discount and rebate to groups and individuals. This will encourage them to travel and see the natural beauty of our attractions.”
He said the Authority’s activities in recent years such as the renovation of most of the tourist sites across the country, was a brilliant way of marketing destination Ghana, saying “Ghana alongside it’s rich and unique resources as a number one destination for tourists and investors also launched year of return, beyond the return and destination Ghana. This is being done meticulously to give the Economy a massive boost, aid development in the country and attract tourist around world.”
“With ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding globally, the Tourism Ministry is keeping to its target of bringing in two million international tourists by 2024. The GTA and Tourism Ministry are keen on implementing the Domestic and Regional Tourism Campaign that was launched in June 2021 to stimulate the local tourism industry.”
Mr Kusi said the 18-month long campaign also targets an ambitious increase in domestic tourist arrivals to 600,000 by end of 2022, and to one million by 2024.
ASSOCIATION UNDER THE GTA
Associations under the Authority, include the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), Ghana Progressive Hotels Association (GHAPROHA), Car Rentals Association of Ghana (CRAG), Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), Ghana Traditional Caterers Association, Chefs Association of Ghana, Ghana Drinking Bar Operators Association (GHABOA), and National Drinking Bar Operators Association (NADBOA)
Others include Tour Guides Association of Ghana (TOUGAG), Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA), Skal Club Ghana, Indigenous Caterers Association of Ghana, Bar Tenders Association, Tourism Aid Ghana, Athena HR Solution, Ellaven Consult, Ghana Barbecue Association, Bar Tenders Guild Association, Event Vendors Association of Ghana, and Heritage Food and Drink Association of Ghana.
The rest are the Institute of Hospitality, Service Excellence, Ghana Association of Forex Bureau, Women in Business and Tourism, Shebra Musical and Dance Group, Memories 360 Tours, Kids In Tourism, Jufia Nsurom Folk Music and Dance Foundation, Ghana Association of Tourism Students, African Travel and Tourism Association of Ghana, Night Club and Restaurant Association of Ghana.
To register with the GTA, the association must have Certificate of Incorporation, registered office.