The Minister of Tourism, Mrs Sabah Zita Okaikoi has said the annual Easter paragliding festival being held at Kwahu Atibie was part of the Ministry’s policy to diversify and add value to tourist products for increased patronage.
She said this year’s paragliding festival was well package to have a new look from the previous ones with the inclusion of side attractions such as a health walk, adventure hikes, musical shows, dances, street carnival and other activities.
Mrs Okaikoi was addressing the opening of the fifth paragliding festival at Atibie in the Kwahu South District on Easter Friday, where 14 plaits from the United State of America (USA), South Africa, Norway, France, Benin and Germany were taking part.
She stressed the Ministry’s determination to promote the paragliding festival and all other tourists’ attraction in the country, in a way to generate people’s interest to cherish and participate in all planned activities, to enable them enjoy their heritage and help promote domestic tourism.
The Minister of Tourism said with collective efforts, tourism could be used as an enviable option to transform the lives of the people to generate revenue for community development and offer employment to the people especially the youth.
She said domestic tourism could be use as effective tool to foster social harmony, understanding and peace among Ghanaians which was vital for national development and also help to boost the development of micro, small and medium scale enterprises in the communities.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo said the Region which was referred to as the land of the origin of cocoa, also has the potential to become the most preferred tourism destination in the country.
He said those great economic potentials would only remain a dream if the tourism industry players, investors and other stakeholders do not come together to develop the tourism resources.
Mr Ampofo said the challenge facing the tourism stakeholders in the Kwahu area was how to collaborate and use the destination management approach to develop the area holistically as a single tourism destination.
He therefore made a passionate appeal to all stakeholders in the tourism sector including the District Assemblies, the Ghana Tourist Board, the Presbyterian University College, the Kwahu Traditional Council, the Kwahu Citizens Association, Tourism and Business Operators and the Media, to collaborate to achieve the dream of developing Kwahu into the “honey moon destination of West Africa”.
The Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board, Mr Julius Debrah said local pilots would be trained to make the paragliding a regular affair to allow tourists to visit the area.
The Adontenhene of the Kwahu Traditional area, Nana Asiedu Adjeman, III appealed to the government to rehabilitate roads leading to the Kwahu area to enable more tourists to visit the various tourists site in the area.