The forum was to educate the stakeholders on the third phase of the GTA development project, a $40 million grant, from the International Association of the World Bank, which sought to increase tourism performance in the country.
It brought together stakeholders within the Northern Region, who were trained on how to access the grant via a digital platform as well as the necessary requirements.
The forum provided the opportunity for participants to share their experiences related to the grant as well as ask questions for clarity in applying for it.
The project grants covered three types namely; the COVID-19 relief grant, the Small and Medium Enterprises Grant (SMEGs) and the Site Upgrade Grant (SUG), access to hotels, restaurants and privately owned tourism sites.
Professor Gabriel Eshun, the Technical Advisor to the Ghana Tourism Development Project, who spoke at the forum in Tamale, said there was a grant component, which targeted the non-public tourism site and small-scale businesses, as part of efforts to sustain tourism enterprises in the country.
He said phase three had adopted a feed-forward approach to ensure that stakeholders had enough sensitisation to avoid some challenges they encountered during the first and second phases.
He noted that the project targeted over 1000 grants for COVID-19 relief, more than 30 for the SUG and more than 100 for the SMEGs.
Some participants expressed concerns over their inability to receive grants during the first two phases even though they applied.
Professor Eshun, in response, assured them that such concerns would be addressed to ensure that things were done differently to make the process smoother.
He said the project had the vision of positioning the country as the most preferred tourism destination in Africa and at the Centre of the world, adding that not every applicant would receive the grant.
He noted that “If that could be achieved, then, we need to be careful with the grant so that people, who receive it, are in tandem to the momentum we are creating for the Ministry and Ghana.”