Residents of tourism destination c’nities applaud govt for $40m WB GTDP project

Residents of tourism destination communities in the country have backed the $40-million World Bank-funded Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) aimed at improving the performance of tourism in targeted destinations.

According to a survey conducted to assess the impact of the project,“85 per cent of residents were satisfied” saying the project had fostered improvements in environmental conditions and created opportunities for economic improvement as well as the lives of residents of the beneficiary communities.

This was revealed during a report validation on the Tourism and Citizen Satisfaction Survey (CSS) in Accra last Friday by the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC), under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The survey was conducted in 25 tourist sites in 11 regions which comprised of eight Quick Wins, six Iconic Sites and 11 Sites Upgrades such as the Kakum National Park, Cape Coast Castle, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park among others.

The Chief Executive Officer of GTDC, Mr Kwadwo Odame Antwi, presenting the report said the CSS and Tourists Satisfaction Survey (TSS) were used to determine the objectives, results, and analysis of the survey.

He said the CSS explored residents’ satisfaction by focusing on the project’s contributions to the public good such as community development, improvement in environmental and socio-economic conditions in the host communities.

He said it again explored the perspectives and perceptions on the project’s sustainability and viability, its expectations, and recommendations.

According to MrAntwi, the TSS also aimed at analysing the demographic characteristics and assessing the length of stay of tourists at destinations, assessing the quality of service and exploring the tourist experience and satisfaction levels.

He said with the TSS, tourists were grouped under domestic and international, with the domestic having 58 per cent being male and 42 per cent being female, adding “The international tourists also had 48 per cent male and 52 per cent female.”

Mr Antwi indicated that a total of 711 visitors were interviewed for the TSS whiles 446 were interviewed for the CSS using a well-structured questionnaire.

He said tourists rated reception facilities and value for paid services very high, but availability of facilities for children, quality of restaurant service, standard of washrooms, signages, road accessibility, and availability of souvenirs were rated low.

This he said indicated that about 51 per cent of all visitors were likely to repeat their visits to the destinations according to the report.

It was recommended that, proper facilities such as accommodation, eatery, camping, souvenir, shops among others should be provided at tourist sites and necessary steps should be taken to ensure all such projects that had been stalled were completed without further delays.

BY VIVIAN ARTHUR

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