Ghana will join South Africa and some selected African countries in Ethiopia in May this year to brainstorm on the possibility of using tourism opportunities as a tool for sports development.
The brainstorming session will focus on the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) World Cup to be hosted by Ghana and South Africa respectively.
Osei Bonsu Amoah, Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Sports (MoESS) who returned from a three day conference on Sports Tourism organised by the United Nations and the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) said that Ghana stands the chance of profiting in that direction.
He said that the country will explore tourism opportunities for CAN 2008 which is expected to pull over a billion visitors to the country.
Mr. Amoah said Ghana will similarly use the competition which, serves as a dress rehearsal for the South Africa 2010 World Cup to entice both lovers and non supporters of the globular leather around the world to the continent.
“Our aim is to entice non Africans in such a way that they will follow their idols here for the competition though the tourney is meant for the continent.
“It must be possible for us to get Chelsea and Barcelona fans to follow players like Michael Essien, Dedier Drogba, Njetap Geremi, Solomon Kalou and Samuel Eto’o Fils among others to the competition regardless of their nationalities”.
A joint committee involving the MoESS, the Ministry of Tourism and Diasporan Relations and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of Ghana 2008 will soon be formed to extract some of the opportunities that exist in the country.
The Deputy Minister lauded the opportunity offered the country and expressed the need to package the idea well to rip the desired profit.