Ghana should not underestimate impact of climate change on tourism – Asafohene
A former Diplomat and Manager for Mitigation and Transparency Support sub-Programme of the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Secretariat, has cautioned Ghana to institute climate-resilient measures for the sustainable management of its tourist sites.
Akyamfour Asafo Boakye Agyemang-Bonsu, Asafohene, said climate change had become a global phenomenon – impacting negatively on the preservation of sites which were nature-related.
The erratic rainfall pattern, severe rise in sea levels and flooding, drought, heat waves, and other harmful effects of climate change had dealt a devastating blow to ecotourism and international arrivals, the Asafohene observed.
The former Ghanaian Diplomat, who was addressing a national orientation and training workshop on the implementation of the new Tourist Sites Regulations (L.I. 2393), at Danyame, Kumasi, said the country ought to act swiftly.
The Ghana Museums and Monuments Board (GMMB), in a recent interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), bemoaned how one of the Asante Traditional Buildings (ATBs) at Patakro, a UNESCO Heritage Site, which is situated near Obuasi along the Kumasi – Obuasi Road, was gradually succumbing to the harsh weather conditions.
“The impact of recent rainstorms on the Patakro ATB is unimaginable.
“This posed a serious threat to both the outstanding universal value and local values which make the site relevant to the global and local community,” according to the authorities.
Akyamfour Agyemang-Bonsu said the country should begin to explore new tourism avenues by deliberating creating attraction sites, particularly within the urban communities, such as parks and gardens.
This would add up to the already established tourism potentials the country had, thereby helping to generate revenue and create wealth from the sector, the Asafohene stated.
Mr. Ekow Sampson, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in-charge of Operations, GTA, touching on the essence of the new Tourist Sites Regulations, said it would guide tourist sites to adhere to best practices in their operations.
The L.I. 2393 seeks to make all tourist sites safe and attractive to enhance the drive to make the sector a major employer and revenue generator.
Mr. Sampson said the government had stepped up efforts to develop infrastructure at the country’s tourist sites through the Ghana Tourism Development Project.
This is aimed at upgrading facilities at the sites while giving visitors memorable experiences when they patronise these areas.
Madam Abena Fosu Boampong, Ashanti Regional Deputy Director in-charge of Standards and Quality Assurance, GTA, advised tourist facility operators to uphold professionalism in their operations.