Voice of Developing Communities (VODEC), wants to state emphatically that Ghana’s failure to explore its rich culture, tradition, and appealing historic monuments as a way of earning large sums, is an internal malfunction from Government.
Comparing to policies putted in place by many other countries, such as Senegal, Egypt or Tanzania to promote their tourism, “Ghana has a lot to do to get there.
Modernized transportation boost tourist sites for productive activities, tourism like any business has moments of crisis and unlike same; it is the quickest to turn around because of its incomprehensibly intangible nature. This industry has been the most hit, but has recovered much more appreciably. But only countries with evident appreciation for the contribution of tourism to GDPs and other national economic indices have subsidized to support affordable pricing of tourism products in order to still make their destinations appealing, even to the harden hearted. Ghana is surely not one of such countries.
We are yet to realize such interventions.”
As we celebrate the world tourist day at Nkroful in the Western Region coming Friday 27th of September, 2013, VODEC is urging Ghanaians to make the tourist industry a major foreign exchange earner. VODEC have been given an airtime of thirty minutes at Radio Emashie 105.1 a community radio station located at Pokuase in the Ga West Municipality hosted by Eugenia Kordie, Kennedy Darkey, Roselyn Akenteng and Abroni Thomas and would welcome any media house who will allocate similar time to us, either electronic print to help promote the sector by boosting the sense of national integration by promoting the Ghanaian personality through beauty and promote entertainment, we are grateful to management of the station.
Tourist sites serve as a means of economic development which open up more employment opportunities to our people by expanding and modernizing modes of transportation, namely road, rail, water, air and network of feeder roads to provide easy access to tourist sites for productive activities.
Despite the fact that Ghana exposes vibrant historical sites of attractions, the country’s tourism sector remains stagnant in terms of creating jobs and attracting more foreign tourists into the country. Inability to promote Ghana is fundamentally due to the poor perception and understanding we have on the advantages the tourism industry integrates.
“Tourism is an intangible product that has unique selling dictates. It calls for strategic marketing planning before and during sales and feedback, follow-ups after sales. Until Ghana sees tourism as it sees Gold and Cocoa, the country will still not make anything out of it. We cannot compete on leisure, religion and business with respective destination like South Africa, Kenya, Dubai, and Rome.
Ghana surely is an expensive destination for several reasons. When placed along these destinations, only curiosity will cause a tourist to want to still come to Ghana for any of the above reasons rather than its consideration of cost and intensity of value. It addresses the social and cultural issues of the community in a very positive way. In Ghana, tourism as a tool for poverty alleviation is not in doubt. What is in doubt is the understanding of the industry because not much by way of education as to what it is and is not is brought home to the Ghanaian society
Inefficient infrastructures and poor marketing of Ghana as a destination; lack of Ghana Tourism Brand; low awareness of the potential of tourism as a viable economic sector; poor infrastructure especially poor condition of access roads to tourist sites, poor sanitation, inadequate funding from government for the sector; and inadequate skilled manpower as well as lack of professionalism to enhance service delivery are factors which has contributed to the downfall of the sector
Tourism is an economic tool which, when planted in a community expresses its positive presence through the jobs that spring from it. It then also contributes to the particular place's exposure to its external world drawing attention to it and with its visits that create the establishment of the logistics to address the needs of the visitors while they are there; food, drinks, transportation, communication, friendship, souvenirs.
Tourism is therefore a tool for poverty alleviation and social cohesion. The abject poverty in our rural areas could be reduced if tourism is developed. This is because most of our attraction sites are dotted in the rural areas where poverty is prevalent. Tourists spend on accommodation, food, souvenirs and so on at places visited .However, the fact that tourists embark on return visits and sleep in the urban areas after visiting the sites does not augur well for poverty reduction. The provision of social amenities in such areas will therefore go a long way to open up these areas to entice tourists to spend days at the attraction areas.
We need to use the opportunity to as a matter of urgency review outdated and archaic legislation and regulation that regulate our tourism industry, since the sector is very robust and dynamic. Sadly the Ghanaian sector is being regulated by laws as old as thirty years and above. The Ghanaian sector deserves better attention, since each and every hamlet, village, town, city, district or region in Ghana has one unique tourism plant or facility that are scattered around the country, whose potential is crying for exploration and development, which has the potential to ensure an even development of the country to above all stop the rural-urban drift, in search of non-existing white collar jobs.
To achieve this vision, the Ministry needs to attract about a million tourists which imply a corresponding growth in the expansion of tourism plants across the country including restaurants, pubs, night clubs, tourist receptacles, and the like. With the current incentives available to attract investors, when effectively implemented there is the likelihood to realize the continued and fast growth in the expansion of tourism plants that create more descent jobs for the citizenry.
Abroni K. Thomas
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