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Volta Region needs good planning, funding to develop its tourism potential – Experts

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Volta Region’s Municipal and District Assemblies have been advised to seek expert help to craft master plans with budget lines backed by timely implementation to develop their tourism potentials.

The region would be positioning itself as the next stop for developing its diverse and unique tourism attractions.

Experts in tourism gave the advice at a dialogue session on how to enhance the region’s tourism potentials for enhanced socio-economic development on Thursday.

It formed part of the four-day Volta Regional Policy Fair in Ho under the theme, “Empowering the people as we better Ghana”, featuring an exhibition of policies and projects and activities of Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as Municipal and District Assemblies in the region.

Mr Frank Kofigah, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, Ghana Tourist Authority, prescribed 12 specific projects which should form the core of such master plans.

These are eco-tourism, strategically highway rest stops and motels, avenue planting, district museums, children’s parks and sports fields and tour operations.
The others are craft villages, beautification of villages and towns, enhancing tourist attractions with the help of the GTA, forestation and re-forestation and hiking trails.

Mr Kofigah advised the Assemblies to engage the services of travel writers and send delegations abroad to market the region’s attractions and promote domestic tourism through tourist clubs in schools, colleges and villages and workplaces.

`He observed that the region’s tourism sector was suffering from lack of marketing, undeveloped potentials, reluctance of the indigenes to invest in the sector, late arrival and non-existence of major infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water, among others.

Mr Kofigah said the “region is off the beaten track of international tourist flows to Ghana.

He said these challenges not-withstanding, the Volta region offered a one-stop destination for the tourist to see Ghana in its entirety at a reduced cost.

Mr Kofigah urged indigenes of the region to invite people from other parts of the country to visit the region as a way of promoting its attractions.

Mr Gordon Adobor, Chairman of the Tour guide Association of Ghana, described the Volta region as “one of nature’s most attractive gifts to Ghana, the region of contrasts,” for its extraordinary scenic beauty and diversity.

He said the next five to ten years should see a shift in tourism development to the Volta region led by institutions in the region in collaboration with the indigenes both in and outside its jurisdiction.

Mr Adobor said unlike the extractive industry, tourism preserves the environment, helps distribute incomes equitably thus making everybody in the destination rich.
He said the people of the Volta region should therefore count themselves very fortunate that in their immeasurable tourism attractions, they have inexhaustible stores of wealth with no risk.

Mr Adobor advised chiefs and communities to avoid over commercializing their festivals for the sake of sponsorship because that did not allow the significance and attractions of those festivals to come to the fore.

Mr Nkunu Akyea, a Tour Operator, urged District Assemblies to invest in tourism development focusing on the villages and towns because foreign tourists have become more interested in attractions away from the cities and urban areas.

He cautioned the Assemblies not to expect immediate cash benefits from such investments because they take a long time to attract tourists and have long gestation periods.

Mr Akyea said Volta Region does not lack in local tourism expertise but what was needed was for them to be attracted back home to help develop the sector.

He said a recent head count of the 20 tourist experts in the country showed that 12 of them hailed from the Volta Region.

“Invite them to come back home to help, if you beckon us, we will come”, he assured.

Mr Akyea said the growth and development of tourism in the region was vital to keeping its craftsmen like carvers, kente weavers and other indigenous craftsmen back home so as to preserve its competitive advantage in the tourism sector.

Source: GNA

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  1. I like the good initiatives taken but the road must by given more priority. Thanks.

  2. What was said so far, has given me enough hope but, there is the need for a more practical and detailed road map to what all the stake holders have said.
    Government and MMDAs, if can make some sorts of funds available in any way or some conducive policies for private investors, I believe verily that we can achieve some goals.