He said: “Marketing and media consultants on the continent need to change the narrative about the continent by painting a favourable picture…to the international world.”
President Mahama said this when he addressed the opening ceremony of the three-day United Nations world Tourism Organisation conference held on the theme: “Enhancing Brand Africa fostering tourism development in Accra.”
The conference attracted participants made up of Ministers of Tourism, Tourism experts and consultants from all over the African continent and beyond.
President Mahama explained that the continent had over the years risen above the expected levels in all the aspects of growth and development and needed to use that as a bargaining chip for change.
He said had Africa leveraged her information, communication and technology levels and with good packaging and promotion, the continent could in the next few years rub shoulders with other advanced continents in growth and development.
The President said apart from her riches in natural resources, the African continent is also endowed with beautiful tourist sites that could magnetise many more tourists in the world if well packaged and promoted.
President Mahama said although tourism in 2014 took a nosedive in West Africa because of the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease, many countries are recovering from the reduction of arrivals at the airports.
He said apart from cocoa, gold and oil and gas, tourism is the fourth foreign exchange earner for Ghana, contributing 4.7 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product to the Ghanaian economy.
“Ghana is considered as the model of peace, democracy and the gateway to Africa and would therefore continue to facilitate activities that will attract more tourists from outside the country.”