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Obama's visit increases visitors to Cape Coast Castle

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The Cape Coast Castle - Symbol of slavery in Ghana

The Cape Coast Castle, one of the internationally acclaimed tourism monuments, in 2009 recorded an increase of 15,704 visitors representing 25.8 percent over the previous year.

Mr Nicholas Ivor, Central and Western Regional Director of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB) said on Thursday that a total of 76,546 visitors toured the castle in 2009 compared to 60,842 visitors in 2008.

He gave the break-down of the number for 2009, as 18,257 foreign tourists, and 58,289 domestic visitors.

In 2008 the castle recorded 17,107 foreign visitors with 43,735 domestic tourists, who are mostly students and pupils from schools all over the country.

Mr Ivor said, this year, the castle had recorded a significant increase in the number of tourists so far and that if the trend continued, the number would far exceed that of last year’s.

He said when that happened it would further increase revenue generation over that of the previous years.

Mr Ivor said President Obama’s visit in July 2009 to the castle had impacted positively on the image of the place and Cape Coast in general saying soon after his visit, there had been an influx of both foreign and domestic tourists.

On maintenance, the Director said works were currently underway to preserve the castle with funds from its internally generated revenue source.

Mr Ivor said in order to adhere to world class tourism practices, the GMMB sought the assistance of an Italian NGO Ricerca e Cooperazione to organise a three-day workshop for artisans and tour guides of the castle.

He said the workshop trained participants in modern trends of packaging their artifacts and also help improve their communication and interpretative skills.

He said the NGO also donated computers and scanners to his office to enhance work at the castle.

Source: GNA

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