By Sheila Williams
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has hinted of its readiness to digitize the collection and administration of fees at tourist sites and national monuments to effectively rake in the needed revenues.
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The move has become necessary to reduce the systemic corruption and siphoning of state financial resources into private hands, said the sector Minister, Mrs. Catherine Afeku.
The initiative, she noted, would ensure rigorous monitoring of the revenue to be collected by blocking all financial loopholes to stop siphoning of monies into private pockets.
Speaking recently on a tour to Cape Coast and Elmina Castles to access the current state of National tourist facilities in the central region.
Plans for tourist sites facelift
She also mentioned plans by her outfit to construct a wooden ship on the high rise-deep-seated sedimentary rock close to the Cape Coast castle to add to the Region’s numerous magnificent historical buildings, monuments and cultural artifacts to generate more wealth and employment.
Campaign against open defecation
In a recent video documentary, in which certain individuals were filmed openly defecating close to the Cape Coast Castle, at a time some tourists were visiting.
Mrs Afeku stated that the Ministry was poised to lead a consortium of inter-ministerial Committee, made up of Regional Ministers from the Central, Volta, Western and the Greater Accra Regions to effectively collaborate to end the shameful menace.
“The MoTAC in collaboration with the Ministry of Sanitation, Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Local Government Ministry and the Information Ministry and some of the tourism ambassadors, we would embark on a campaign against open defecation especially among people mainly in the coastal areas,” she said.
At the Regional level, she indicated that a team of key stakeholders made up of the Regional Minister, metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) and Assembly members would lead the crusade.
The Minister called on the various traditional authorities to join forces with the Ministry to drastically reduce open defecation at tourist sites without qualms as to the health, economic and social consequences of their action and in action, to that effect.
She cautioned the public against perpetuating acts that prevent tourists from visiting various tourist attractions sites in the country, saying that was detrimental to tourism development.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr. Kwamena Duncan, who accompanied the Minister, pledged to work together with the Regional Committee to practically reduce the open defecation especially along the central coast.
He assured that he will engage the fisher folks who operate close to the Castle who end up defecating and dumping refuse close to the Castle for relocation to sanitize the facility.