The President of the Arts and Tourism Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG), William Asiedu has admonished the tourism ambassadors appointed by the government to tap into the business aspect of tourism.
Speaking to KMJ on Showbiz Now on Joy Prime Mr Asiedu, who is also the Managing Editor of the Daily Heritage newspaper said the impact of the tourism ambassadors is not felt because most of them have not been able to strike deals that will ultimately transform the tourism industry, particularly in the area of infrastructure.
“What’s the objective of putting together that team of ambassadors? What were the key performance indicators that we sitting back will use to judge them?” he asked.
He added that each of the creative people chosen as tourism ambassadors should be able to use their clout to drive the tourism sector in their specific domains.
“I would have picked businessmen like Kwame Despite, Sikkens or Wiyaala who is now all over the world – people who can give us the returns that we need,” he said.
He noted that celebrities, who are business-minded are those that are needed for this cause.
“For me when I am talking tourism, I am talking business because the fun part will come when the business is done,” Mr Asiedu further stated.
Asked if the appointment of the ambassadors was useless, he answered in the negative, reiterating that instead of the government asking them to present their individual projects for consideration, it should have, from the outset, planned projects in line with the objectives of the ministry and tailored to suit the influence each celebrity wields in their respective fields.
In 2017, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, appointed 30 Ghanaian celebrities as ambassadors for the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana” campaign.
The campaign concept draws on re-orienting Ghanaians on a new sense of national pride in its heritage, culture, and way of life.
According to Ms Catherine Afeku, the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, the aim of the Tourism Ambassador programme, was to partner influential persons to help drive tourism growth in and outside the country.
She said the ambassadors would therefore use their personalities and expertise to sell Ghana’s tourism potential to the world.
The ambassadors include SP Kofi Sarpong, D-Black, Nana Kwame Ampadu, Okyeame Kwame, Fancy Gadam, Agya Koo, Lucky Mensah and Sena Dagadu.
Others are PaJohn Dadson, Reggie N Bollie, Wiyaala, Sam Okyere, Dada KD, Sherifa Gunu, Diana Asamoah, Cindy Thompson, Andy Dosty, among others.