The Eastern Regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has urged operators of tourist sites to develop their sites to be more attractive with the requisite facilities to meet the needs of patrons.
According to the Eastern Regional Deputy Director in-charge of Hospitality of the GTA, Bertha Appeynarh, the region was emerging as a destination for meetings, workshops and conferences, hence the need to make tourist sites more accommodating and attractive.
He, however, said the bad nature of road networks leading to attraction sites coupled with lack of basic facilities such as car parks, good washroom facilities, modern receptive facilities, good layout, art and craft shops and restaurants left much to be desired.
“We cannot say we are happy about the actual state of care of our tourist attractions sites due to the fact that most of these attractions are underdeveloped and in a bad state of care,” he stated.
He was speaking at an orientation and training workshop on the Tourism (Tourist Sites) Regulations, 2019 (L.I. 2393) in Koforidua last Friday.
The workshop sought to equip industry players with the relevant skills and training needed for quality service delivery in the region.
It attracted 15 participants including tour operators, personnel from various tourist sites as well as tour and site guides across the region.
Other participants were selected municipal and district chief executives, heads of ministries, departments and agencies as well as regional police and fire commanders.
In 2019, the L.I. 2393 (tourist sites) was passed to mandate GTA to register, classify, license and regulate the activities of tourist sites.
Mrs Appeynarh said there were many tour agencies which works at providing week-long and weekend adventure and health trips to the public.
She, however, said tourist attraction sites could only get their fair share of the tourist event if they were developed and marketed properly.
“This we know will create jobs, generate income and improve the livelihood of people in the region,” she added.
MrsAppeynarh indicated that the government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), had over the years aimed to improve the skills of industry players through the provision of quality information, training and effective regulation.
That, she said, had become necessary since tourism industry was mainly service oriented which had to do with a satisfactory tourist experience.
The acting Director of Operations of the GTA, Ekow Sampson, said, in a bid to promote international and domestic tourism in the country, various tourism campaigns had been initiated to bolster tourism drive.
He mentioned some of the campaigns as “Destination Ghana”, “Share Ghana” and “Experience Ghana”, all of which were targeted at improving tourism sites to the country rake in much foreign exchange and create employment opportunities.
He added that it was in a bid to improve tourist sites that the Tourism (Tourist Sites) Regulations, 2019, L.I. 2393 was passed.
The licence, he said, would help to regulate and ensure that tourist sites had basic amenities like washroom facilities, emergency response measures, unqualified staff and tour guides to enrich tourists’ experience.
He mentioned the recent inauguration of National Museum by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, a move that he said had attracted over 100,000 to the museum in the past three months.
He also cited ongoing development projects at the tourist sites such as improvement of access roads at sites in Kintampo, TafiAtome Monkey Sanctuary, and the paragliding sites at the Odweanoma Mountain at Kwahu-Atibie.
FROM AMA TEKYIWAA AMPADU AGYEMAN, KOFORIDU