A delegation from the Republic of Barbados, currently in Ghana for an investment tour, has called on the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, to share ideas on how to improve both countries’ tourism prospects.
The delegation was led by the Minister of Tourism and International Transport of Barbados, Mr Kerrie Symonds, and the Minister for Creative Economy, Culture, and Sports, Mr John King.
Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, welcoming the delegation, said Ghana was excited to have people from the Caribbean visiting to share ideas on how to improve upon tourism.
She said both countries would identify all significant areas that needed collaboration to help push the sector.
As people of African descent, “we are brothers and sisters and… you have to come home to experience what we have and we’ll also come over to experience what you have,” she said.
Mrs Oteng Gyasi said Ghana just commemorated the “Year of Return” and initiated the “Beyond the Return,” a ten-year project which was a follow-up action to the Year of Return, to enable the country build closer bonds with all brothers and sisters in the Diaspora.
She said both countries would deliberate on how to facilitate quick travel to Ghana by looking at direct air transport as well as identify their roots within the West African Sub-region.
Mrs Oteng Gyasi expressed the hope that after all deliberations concrete actions would be taken to realize the dreams of the Prime Minister of Barbados as well as the President of Ghana.
Mr Kerrie Symonds (MP), on his part, said they were excited to be in Ghana as they saw Ghana to be a home away from home.
He said the presidents of both countries had embraced a common destiny, which called on the citizens to build stronger relationships.
“For 400 years we have co-existed without building that depth of relationship, and I think that at the level of tourism it is important because it allows us to bring up certain things to enhance our tourism,” he said.
“From the perspective of Barbados, we have a cultural and heritage approach to our tourism. Traditionally we have seen tourism through the lenses of a euro centric focus, and from the time we became independent much of our tourists were coming from Northern Atlantic”.
Mr Symonds said it was important to find ways of bridging the gap across all generations and one way of doing that was to focus on international transportation linkages to facilitate business and commerce.
“We must get our people to invest more across the waters for cross-fertilization of investment,” he said.
“It is important to find some platforms and pillars on which we can rest the future development, communication, and linkages between the two countries.”
He promised that with his team, they would have a full sampling of the cultural and tourism products in Ghana to tell the story better back home.
Meanwhile, both countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for culture, technical, and scientific corporation in the areas of tourism, aviation, youth development, commerce, investment, and music