The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), in collaboration with the Arts & Tourism Writers of Ghana (ATWAG), held a sensitization workshop to deepen the capacity of travel and tourism writers in Accra.
Themed ‘The Role of ATWAG in Ghana’s Tourism Drive’, the programme gave the writers an insight into the operations of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
Opening the ceremony, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, expressed his excitement about the engagement and asked for collaboration between the two bodies more regularly to ensure growth in the sector.
He also said his outfit was planning familiarization trips for ATWAG members to tourist sites in the country to enable them to have first-hand information and also experience the different tourism products that Ghana has to offer.
William Asiedu, president of ATWAG, expressed the association’s readiness to help develop and promote the tourism industry.
“ATWAG is ready to help move this industry forward. We are a professional group of journalists who are interested in the business of tourism, arts and culture and to some extent, chieftaincy affairs,” he stated.
He further added that one of the biggest challenges of the association is the way some writers publish internet stories verbatim without cross-checking facts and developing them before publication.
He expressed the hope that practitioners would update themselves to stay relevant in the industry.
The CEO of Africa Tourism Partners, South Africa, Kwakye Donkor, challenged the media to work with the tourism authorities to promote the country positively.
He mentioned that major media organisations like CNN and BBC do not broadcast negative news to discourage people from visiting their countries, so the media in Ghana should do same to promote the country and attract more tourists.
ATWAG, as part of its capacity-building programmes, has lined up activities to help its members gain more insight into the operations of the various tourism institutions.