Mrs Elizabeth Ofosu Adjare, Minister of Tourism Culture and Creative Arts, says tourism is a major factor that could help bring the West African sub region together for effective development.
She said tourism could create a forum for experts to share ideas to help develop countries and serve as a link to reinforce the relationships between countries.
Mrs Ofosu Adjare said this when speaking at the maiden Weizo, Accra 2015 conference.
The conference, on the theme ‘seamless travels in West Africa’, was organised by Akwaaba; African Market, Lagos.
The day’s conference was to offer the top players in tourism in West Africa the opportunity to have a first-hand glimpse of the biggest street party in Africa and the best tourism event in West Africa.
She said the conference was also to bring travel professionals together to share knowledge and work out a future path of success for the region.
Mr Olufemi Adefope, Delta Airlines, Nigeria said in trans-border investments in travel business, it is important to have in mind the people and the place to make business, know the laws of the destinations and have an idea of the prices of products.
He said hospitality is one of the best tools to promote every business, adding feasibility and fundamental analysis of business challenges and opportunities are important to provide easier access to markets in other ECOWAS countries and increase local businesses to compete favourably with cheap imported products.
Mr Olufemi said some challenges associated with doing business across West Africa include bad road network, unauthorised check points, unfriendly nature of investment policies, high taxes and tariffs among others.
He said despite these challenges, there are lots of business opportunities in the West African sub region, adding that the region is yet to benefit from the tourism sector and to fully appreciate the development of technology and technological services in the business.
Mr Olufemi said a lot could be done and facilitated through embracing technological innovations as integral icons in business optimisation and gaining a competitive edge.
Professor Ben Ayade, Executive Governor of Cross River State, in a speech read on his behalf, said tourism is a major potential for the development of the sub region and it is important to come together to have a seamless travel in West Africa for the growth of our economies.
He said the time had come for West Africa to open its borders to be able to attract tourists from all over the world to help improve the economy as well as the wellbeing of the people. GNA