Improving the tourism sector to achieve 3 targets of the SDGs

Improving the tourism sector to achieve 3 targets of the SDGs
Source: Ghana| Victor Owusu Boateng
Date: 08-10-2018 Time: 01:10:23:pm

Tourism is much more than just an economic sector. It is a complex system wherein potential interactions with other economic sectors can develop substantially both upstream and downstream.

For this reason, it is essential that projects are implemented and developed within the border’s context.

The world Tourism Organization defines tourism more generally in terms which go “beyond the common perception of tourism as being limited to holiday activity only” as people “travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.

Tourism in other vain is the travel for leisure or business; also, the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating and entertaining tourist and the business of operating tours.

Tourism is the generic term to cover both demand and supply that has been adopted in various forms and used throughout the World. 

Tourism is defined as the activities of persons identified as visitors.  A visitor is someone who is making a visit to a main destination outside his/her usual environment for less than a year for any main purpose [including] holidays, leisure and recreation, business, health, education or other purposes.

This scope is much wider than the traditional perception of tourists, which included only those travelling for leisure. [UNWTO statistics Guidelines: 2010]


Visitor is the common denominator that covers all the forms of tourism defined above for the same range of purposes.  The term embraces three separate categories. 

  (1) Tourists who are visitors staying away from home for one or more nights for any of the purposes noted above (domestic, or from abroad). 

  (2) Same Day visitors, also known as tourist day visitors spending at least 3 hours away from home outside their usual environment for general leisure, recreational and social purposes. Many are local residents of an area.

(3) Leisure day visitors spending less than 3 hours away from home but outside their usual environment, for general leisure, recreational or social purposes.  These short stay leisure day visitors contribute directly to the local visitor economy and should also be formally recognized in destination management decisions.

Most of these third group of visitors are also residents of destinations and their local catchment areas.

A scanned through the SDGs matrix identified 3 key targets as shown below

  1. Target: 8.9. By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
  2. Target: 12.b. By 2030, Develop and implement tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products.
  3. Target 14.7. By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island, developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.

For Ghana to work towards achieving these 3 SDGs targets there is a need to take the necessary steps to help sell Ghana tourism industry. Although Ghana has in place National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP) (2013 -2027), there is a need to see how best Ghana can:

  1. Implement NTDP to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promote local culture and products.
  2. Develop appropriate tools to monitor sustainable development impacts for sustainable tourism
  3. Implement the tools developed to enhance the monitoring of the impacts of tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and product.
  4. Develop ways to increase the economic benefits to tourism.

A careful monitory system put in place to boost the tourism industry following the NTDP will also increase Ghana’s GDP.

Establishment of Cultural Centers at the various Districts

Each district in a region one way or the other has its own unique traditional values that we need to know since every Ghanaian finds its way to a district, either as a Professional or a national service person.

For Such individuals to value the traditional food consume by the people in the district, traditional dance display and the kind of tradition music they sing, there is a need to establish a Cultural Centre.

Like Ethiopia where they have Abyssinia located at Addis Ababa, traditional food and drinks are served, traditional dance displayed and various tradition cloths worn and hanged around the centre for sale.

It’s a nice place to visit anytime you get to Addis Ababa. Likewise, Ghana through the tourism ministry, can establish this kind of cultural centers in EACH district, so that the traditional values and our heritage can be displayed.

Ghana has a rich culture and traditional foods, drinks, dance and dress which can be displayed every evening. A permanent cultural troop formed in each district would perform and display their traditional heritage as a form of entertainment.

Proceeds from the gate fees can be used to pay the troops and maintain the venue not necessary forming part of Government consolidated account. In this case, a public private partnership is needed to create more jobs and hence generate revenue to the district and the country as a whole.

Ghana government in conjunction with the traditional rulers in various districts and MUSIGA representatives in all the regions can link up with each district in the region to adapt a particular centre for such activities.

This would help generate revenue for the districts, create job for the teaming unemployed youth in each district and also identify various talents for national competition.

This can also give an avenue for the citizens in the district to find less expensive places to enjoy their night life to reduce the amount of stress in the country.


VICTOR OWUSU BOATENG (Demographer/ Statistician)

SDGs secretariat

Ghana statistical service



Tel: 0244879607/ 0203792805


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