Bad roads adversely affecting Ghana’s tourism sector – Tour operator
Despite the introduction of the tourism levy which was expected to help fix roads to tourist sites, some tour operators say lack of good access roads to most tourist destinations is still a major hindrance to tourism in Ghana.
Gideon Asare, the Managing Director of Adansi Travels, a leading travel agency in Ghana, made the complaint in an interview with Citi News during the introduction of the Western Escape tours to promote tourism to the Western Region.
Mr. Asare said there are a number of challenges adversely affecting domestic tourism in the country.
These impediments, he said, include lack of access roads to tourism destinations in regions endowed with marketable products.
“Access to some of the facilities is a challenge. An example is the Cape Three Point road. There is also a lack of connectivity of routes to tourism destinations in the country due to the poor structure of the aviation industry,” he said.
He identified costing too as another challenge confronting the business.
“People feel that once it’s domestic tourism, it should be very competitive and cheaper. Unfortunately, hotel pricing has been one of the challenges”, he added.
Gideon Asare said Ghana has a large geographical scope of the qualitative dimension of tourism, but that would require a rich tapestry of in-depth case studies to unlock the potential of the sector for the overall socio-economic development of the country.
He said Adansi Travels has developed five strong domestic tourism products to market Ghana through inbound tourism promotion despite the challenges.
“These are Keta Escape in Volta Region, Conquer Ghana in Eastern Region, Dam City Escape in Eastern Region, Western Escape in Western and Central Regions. These special products provide tourists with insights into Ghana, based on the knowledge available and leisure, all geared towards empowering tourists,” Mr. Asare noted.
Explaining the concept, he said these products basically invite tourists to the resource endowed parts of Ghana to experience sandy beaches, heritage sites such as colonial footprints of forts and castles, resorts, waterfalls, as well as marine life on the village sitting on water.
As one of the lead tour operators in organizing leisure and business travels for individuals, groups and business organizations, Gideon Asare said they believe these products would grow effectively and become the choice of tourists living in Ghana and beyond the shores of the country for their weekend relaxation.
He explained that the idea behind the products primarily is to promote sustainable weekend tourism in Ghana, instead of the country’s overreliance on only holiday tourism packages.
Mr. Asare said as part of this effort, Adansi Travels has in the last five months brought over three hundred tourists to experience and feel the Nzulezu, Maha Beach resort, Cape Coast and Elmina castle, Kaukum National Park, and various tourism facilities available in both Western and Central Regions.
The Government of Ghana has introduced policies and programs to improve tourism development in the country, and Adansi Travels intend to work closely with stakeholders to achieve results.
These include Beyond Year of Return, See Ghana, Feel Ghana, Eat Ghana and Wear Ghana. Aside from policies and programmes, the regulator of the tourism industry in the country, the Ghana Tourism Authority, GTA, has also introduced flagship programmes to improve the performance of the sector following the nosedive suffered by inbound and outbound traffic volumes in the industry caused by COVID-19.