By George Egeh,
Diplomatic Watch Correspondent, Ghana
Individual efforts to promote and develop Ghana’s tourism sector is yielding positive results as Ghanaians in the Diaspora are also making relentless efforts to connect and work with people back home to promote and develop Ghana’s tourism sector.
Claire Ama Antonio, a British Ghanaian National who lives in the UK has joined in the quest to promote Ghana’s rich tourism potentials and help develop the tourism sector in Ghana.
Gek Media Communication, the company behind the adventure Ghana tourism project, an initiative developed to expand marketing options for tourism and develop Ghana’s tourism sector took the bold step to appoint Miss Claire Ama Antonio as the projects marketing person and brand ambassador in the UK.
Claire Ama Antonio who has been in the UK for 22 years is contesting for Miss Tourism Ghana UK. She is from the central region as well as Osu in the Greater Accra region. She is a graduate of the university Portsmouth and has a degree in psychology.
Miss Tourism Ghana UK is organized by Ghana Society UK; it is a duplication of the Miss Tourism Ghana and a platform created for young ladies in the UK to become well acquainted with the different tourism trends and sites in Ghana; to help them learn more about their native country and become Ghana’s Tourism Ambassadors.
This would ensure that they are able to market Ghana as an excellent destination for tourism and promote tourism both locally and internationally alongside the tourism promotional programs of the government and other stakeholders.
Miss Tourism Ghana UK, an event which started in 2003, has been organized once every year by the Ghana Society UK, giving opportunity to young qualified women to represent Ghana as tourism Ambassadors in the Diaspora.
Ms Claire, who is very objective about the competition, stated that while winning is important, her ability to implement her overall goals and objective to develop Ghana’s Tourism sector mattered more to her.
Quoting her words, she said she wanted to be able to effect change in Ghana’s tourism industry; my goal is to help produce a unique brand which will interest tourist to not only come to Ghana, but to also to travel from region to region within the country at the same time improving the image of Ghana as an excellent holiday destination.
Ms Claire stated that having a team of tourism enthusiast referencing her partners, Gek Media Communication, who has produced Tourism documentaries and a Reality TV show focusing on destination marketing through filming at tourist destinations.
Ms Claire in a very confident manner stated that she is poised to change Ghana’s tourism industry as well as the way Ghana is viewed in foreign media. According to her she wants to give a more positive image of Ghana and the continent of Africa to the world.
She informed that Ghana is ranked as Africa’s most peaceful country by the Global Peace Index and a beautiful country filled with beautiful people, she said, the Global peace index presented a unique marketing opportunity for Ghana and she intends to take advantage of it to launch tourism marketing campaign.
Talking about her goals, what she wants to achieve as Miss Tourism Ghana UK, She said first, she wanted to make tourist attractions more commercially viable by doing what she can to address their challenges. Speaking passionately on this, she confirmed she would be liaising with government institutions and the private sector to see how local tourist sites can get the needed support to boost their activities or operations and make them more commercially viable.
Following up on her first goal as Miss Tourism Ghana UK, is the establishment of the Ghana tourism club in the UK where she can begin to educate more people especially foreign nationals about the unique and exquisite sites in Ghana, history and culture of the people of Ghana.
She believes the tourism club will provide an excellent opportunity to market Ghana and give tourist a unique travel experience, adding that the tourism club will also help British Ghanaians who have never been home to learn about their native country Ghana.
Adding up to her second goal, she stated emphatically that her tourism club will make use of Ghana’s social media network of bloggers and other social influencers to promote good stories about Ghana, ensuring citizens in and outside Ghana are connected and up to date with tourism news and development in Ghana.
Speaking on her appointment as the marketing person and brand Ambassador for Adventure Ghana, a tourism marketing initiative, she said she is excited about the opportunity especially the fact that she now has a team back home to work with. She added, it is exciting to see a Company like Gek Media Communication doing what they do, their tourism marketing initiatives are well thought out.
Mentioning a few of the initiatives from the company, the tourism Reality TV show Scheduled to be aired on GH One TV later this year and Tourism documentaries produced, she said she now has what it takes to market Ghana to the world, noting her responsibility as marketing person for Adventure Ghana also included marketing the documentaries and other tourism productions of the company in the UK.
She thanked the company, adding that the opportunity she has been presented with will give her the needed experience and capacity to do well as Miss Tourism Ghana UK, should she be voted for as the winner of the contest.
Ms Claire is also the founder and coordinator of a small children’s charity called the CASS Foundation. The foundation caters for children who have learning impairments (dyslexia, autism, cerebral palsy, global delay) with tools to give them a chance for educational success.
She is currently working in an all-girls secondary School in South London where she is the dyslexia coordinator, she gives learning support to two students in year 10 & 11 (JSS).