Accra, Dec. 14, GNA – The Youth in Tourism Festival (YOTOFEST) 2018, an initiative of the Tourism Society of Ghana (TOSOGHA), was on Thursday launched by the Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mrs Catherine Abelema Afeku.
The festival is aimed at presenting a national platform to initiate and embrace an inclusive popular forum towards the progressive and systematic emancipation of the indigenous culture and the holistic impact of heritage values for the purposeful restoration of youthful exuberance.
Mrs Afeku, in launching the festival, said the cause pursued by TOSOGAH to ensure effective youth participation towards the desirable internal tourism development is a holistic formula to sustainable tourism from grassroots.
She said the initiative falls directly in line with the policy of government in securing the total development of Ghanaians from the grassroots as well as the effort of the Ministry to bring on board potential youth wings across the cultural diversity.
She said the total development of the tourism sector is dependent on the promotion of culture, saying the heritage value of our cultural population is a solution to propel the social engine of the hospitality industry and endanger the renewal of cultural heritage tourism which is what TOSOGHA stands for.
Mrs Afeku said the establishment of YOTOFEST is the institution of the true Ghanaian identity, ethnic harmony and racial tolerance that facilitates peaceful co-existence, the protection and conservation of cultural resources towards the holistic emancipation of the Ghanaian cultural heritage.
She pledged the Ministry’s support towards the establishment and sustenance of the festival and appealed to all stakeholders to support it towards the progressive promotion and development of indigenous Ghanaian culture.
The Sector Minister later outdoored the Executive Director of TOSOGHA, Mr Joseph Armah Amartey as the tourism ambassador for youth development.
Mr Joseph Armah Amartey, Executive Director, TOSOGHA, said it is the firm vision of TOSOGHA to see the establishment of YOTOFEST as a historically designed platform to gain the fine appreciation of the past by bridging the present generational gap between the elderly and youth in languages and tribes across the national society.
He said the organisation of YOTOFEST would sufficiently draw potential stakeholders as requisite forces towards the desirable conservation, protection and promotion of heritage values.
“This festival would become an authentic cohesive force to restore mutual trust and renew cultural heritage tourism.”
He said the three day event would start with public forums including lecturers, debates, seminars, and quizzes for day one; float, exhibitions and musical concert for day two; and a regional tour and durbar for day three.
Mr Amartey said support for the YOTOFEST festival would mean support for current initiatives to promote cultural identity and diversity towards the development of the society.
He said in this contemporary era where tourism appears on a global scene as a pace-setter of socio-economic development, it is crucial to generate a networking social platform as part of its awareness creation efforts.