Tourism Minister Oteng Gyasi apologises for conflicting statements from regulator and Ministry

The Minister for Tourism Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng Gyasi has rendered an unqualified apology to the general public for the conflicting statements from the Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority.

On Monday May 11, the Ghana Tourism Authority issued a statement allowing operators in the hospitality industry to reopen their businesses.

The green light was, however, subjected to “specified elevated hygiene protocols” as well as social distancing.

However, The Tourism Ministry issued another statement to nullify the circular released by the Tourism Authority.

According to the Ministry, restaurants, including those in hotels, and other eateries, cannot operate dine-in services.

It stated that they can continue to operate takeout and delivery services only.

Speaking to George Quaye on Showbiz A-Z on Joy FM, the Minister said: “Let me first apologise to the general public and especially, our operators that the miscommunication may have impacted.

“I had reports from some of the drinking bars claiming that, they had started stocking up to start operations before the second directive came”

She added that “drinking bars cannot operate as long as the ban on those activities have been extended to the end of May.”

When asked why they could not get the Tourism Authority to correct the mistake instead of issuing a conflicting statement, she said “the Ministry could have done that but unfortunately, at the point in time, we could not reach the management of the Ghana Tourism Authority to do this.

“And in view of the existing confusion in the public domain, we thought that we would just step in and correct it. There is no harm, we are one entity.”

She also dismissed reports that the acting CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority Akwasi Agyeman, had been fired for the mishap.

“There’s absolutely nothing to that effect. I think that it was a genuine mistake that was made,” she said.

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