Ghana and Barbados have taken a further step in their ambitions to grow bilateral cooperation between the two countries with both parties expressing ambitions to develop a cruise terminal in Ghana to boost tourism and economic development.
The recent demonstration of this ambition was experienced, when a team from the Barbadian Ministry of Tourism and International Transport and the Ghana Tourism Authority paid a courtesy call to the Management of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.
According to Dr. Kerry Hall, the Director of Tourism Development of the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, Barbados, his country has gained an expertise in cruise tourism, and should Ghana develop a cruise industry, the country stands to benefit tremendously.
“It is about product, and it is about offering a visitor to your country a menu of options and things to do and experiences. You would want to have your ground transportation people organise and take people to a few options where they can do their tourism and have a useful and productive experience of what Ghana has to offer.”
He revealed that in addition, his Prime Minister envisages a very lucrative venture in exploring the West African coast in cruise plans in the future so the concept of having a cruise terminal in Ghana will serve that purpose.
“My Prime Minister has in mind how best between Ghana and Barbados or perhaps the West Coast of Africa to be able to explore new routes. I suspect that would be a sell-out in the Eastern Caribbean,” he disclosed.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, disclosed that it is the government of Ghana’s intention to not only deepen tourism but trade as well, and recognises the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority as instrumental in facilitating this process.
“We are looking at ways that we can get Ghanaian manufacturers and small-scale businesses to partake in BMEX, which is the biggest Manufacturing Expo in Barbados. And so, hopefully working with you, we could fast-track some of the things that would be done,” he indicated.
The Director General of Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Michael Luguje, said Ghana is among the viable countries poised to do well in the cruise industry so he welcomed the initiative.
“The potential for new routes is there for our region and it is important that we work together to open those,” he opined.
He added that the Ports and Harbours Authority of Ghana will visit the Port Authority of Barbados to cooperate in areas of capacity building, among others.
“We will very soon be talking to the Port Authority of your country to get a delegation that would visit for us to begin to discuss and look at what is going on there and during that visit, we will get the opportunity to interact with the port and tourism industry and see what kind of support and collaboration we can get for capacity building for knowledge sharing and the rest.”