Madam Catherine Afeku, Minister for Tourism Arts, Culture and Creative Arts has observed that Wli Waterfalls in the Hohoe Municipality could become Ghana’s tourism haven if resourced.
She said dilapidated changing rooms, lack of rest stops,sanitary and recreational facilities had discouraged dedicated tourists to the Falls.
The Minister made the observation when she toured some tourist sites in the Region including; the Volta lakeside at Dzemeni in the South Dayi District and Fort Prinzenstein in the Keta Municipality, with some tourist Ambassadors.
At a meeting with some chiefs of Wli, Madam Afeku said mismanagement of revenue was also affecting smooth running of the facility and hinted that tolls at the Falls would be automated in two weeks with the latest electronic payment systems.
She said the automation of some tourist sites in the country had realised significant improvements in revenue, and that the Wli Falls would soon be able to rebuild its facilities, and appealed for the cooperation of stakeholders to make that a success.
“Despite all these challenges, tourists keep flocking to the Wli, so I’m hopeful that the advanced payment systems and other interventions will help transform this place and affect the lives of the women and youth in the area”, Madam Afeku stated.
She said her Ministry was also crafting useful interventions including; training of tour guides and charged the inhabitants to take full responsibility of the place to keep it on the tourism map of visitors.
Shirley, an Israeli Tourist who endured the six hour trek up and down the upper falls told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the lack of professional guides took the substance out of her visit.
Mr Emmanuel Glorkpor, a Chief Tour Guide told GNA that there was currently eight guides helping tourists through the site and that poor remuneration made it unsustainable employment avenue.
He said tourists mostly frequented the place during summer and school holidays, and agreed that the facilities needed upgrading to increase patronage.
Vendors of various kinds of crafts and artefacts said the current state of the site had limited visits to holidays and vacations, affecting their business.
Some young people said proceeds from the site had not benefited the natives who continued to reel in unemployment.
Mr Edem, a Ghanian Musician andTourism Ambassador for the Region, said he would use his influence to attract more investors to develop the sites and help promote to them both locally and internationally.
Meanwhile, the GNA observed that while work on a tourist centre project with stalls had stalled for two decades, authorities were putting up a bamboo structure rest stop, off the trail to the falls.