Ghana Tourism Federation
The important role of the private sector in the development of the country’s tourism industry cannot be over-emphasised. For a long time after independence, the tourism industry in Ghana did not receive serious attention though the country’s unique history kept attracting visitors from all over the world. Taking the cue from other countries, government in 1986 decided to promote the sector with the aim of making tourism an important foreign exchange earner and a catalyst for national development. The initiative received the support of the country’s development partners and public response soared as each region and district tried to outdo the other in the promotion of both their known and less-known local attractions.
To give the sector the priority it deserved, a substantive Ministry of Tourism was created in 1993 to facilitate government policy on the industry. Fortunately, from the beginning, government, recognizing the vital role played by the private investors in providing the needed travel and tourism services such as transport, food, lodging, entertainment and other services, did not hesitate in encouraging them as the engine for the growth of tourism. Already, some operators in the various trade associations including hotels, airlines, car rentals, restaurants, etc. had come together and formed their individual trade associations in pursuit of their own goals.
It was to empower these associations to effectively articulate their concerns and to enhance productivity that government in 1995 initiated the formation of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), to serve as an umbrella organization, or single, voice for the myriad organizations and their affiliates.
Besides promoting the welfare of member associations, GHATOF according to its constitution also undertakes other activities to help advance the cause of tourism generally in Ghana, such as on the maintenance of high service standards of practitioners in the industry. Since 2006, GHATOF in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations (MOTDR) and the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) have been working to advance further the implementation of Tourism Development through the Strengthening of the Public-Private Partnership.
The objective of the project is to strengthen, facilitate and build the capacity of stakeholders in the tourism industry to boost tourism development in the country.