The Vice President of Arts Writers Association of Ghana (ATWAG), Mr Livingstone Kwame Lotsu known in showbiz circles as Emperor Stone has advised players in the creative arts space to learn from the City of New Orleans in the area of tourism.
According to him, tourism is a field with huge economic potential and when tapped properly could help alleviate poverty.
Recounting his experience to the media in Ghana, he said, “I arrived in the City of New Orleans on January 5 2022, and had the honor of attending the inauguration of Mayor Latoya Cantrell, and the inaugural dinner in the evening of January 10.”
Mr Lotsu said, through the instrumentality of the Office of Cultural Economy and the Office of International Relations, it was possible for him to encounter some key people in the city, and events including the Zulu King’s pre Mardi Gras Ball, Queen of Ethia party on the River, and Mayor Cantrell’s inaugural mass among many others.
He revealed that the City of New Orleans is using tourism to push their economy, “an event like Essence rakes in over $360 Million, and Mardi Gras festival which happens every quarter with over 2 million people to the city.
The ATWAG Vice President urged the Ministry of Tourism of Ghana and its agencies to pay attention to night life, which is a vibrant industry in the city of New Orleans, where people go to relax after work.
“There should be creativity on our water bodies, and city parks where events could take place for people to have fun and same time enhance economic activities,” he added.
Mr Lotsu said there are a lot of events and festivals in the country, which has what it takes to grab global attention and enhance Ghana’s economic potential
He said, as the Vice President of ATWAG, he would continue to push for exchange programmes to build the capacity of its members in the coverage of such events.
Touching on the background of his visit to the City of New Orleans, Mr Lotsu, said during the visit of Mayor Cantrell and her team to Ghana in 2019 for the Year of Return, there was a meeting through Damon J Batiste, where parties involved realised there were a lot they could do together to uplift Africa and the City of New Orleans.
He said at the meeting, Mayor Cantrell indicated she was open to good projects that will be beneficial to the City and of economic and transformational value.