President Nana Akufo-Addo on the occasion of Ghana's 62nd Independence Anniversary has called on citizens to spend their vacation around the countryside to appreciate Ghana's beauty.
"We have a beautiful country, and it deserves to be explored and admired," Nana Akufo-Addo told a gathering of Ghanaians at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in the Northern Region capital, Tamale, Wednesday.
For the first time in the nation's history, the national celebrations of the Independence Day were hosted outside the capital, Accra.
According to the President, the choice of Tamale was also to give the opportunity to those who have never been to the region to see its beauty and do away with their preconceived ideas about the north.
"Apart from the joy of discovering the beauty and charms of our country, getting to know Ghana helps to dispel the prejudices of the unknown," he told the excited crowd who numbered in excess of 20,000.
Most Ghanaians who have the means to take a vacation are most likely to do outside the country. A preferred destination is Dubai, which is a city in the United Arab Emirates known for luxury shopping, ultramodern architecture and a lively nightlife scene.
President Akufo-Addo has, however, encouraged the citizens to first consider using their vacation periods to explore the countryside and learn more about Ghana rather than going to Dubai.
"Those, who have the means to do so, should consider it more important to travel around and know Ghana before they embark on the next vacation to Dubai! It means, of course, that the tourism authority has its work cut out. If they get it right with internal Ghanaian tourists, then they will be ready to cope with foreign tourists," he added.
He also urged "those who live in the big cities, in particular, to get around the country a little. It just might change their outlook, and make them a little more tolerant of the difficulties that we need to overcome."