The economic contribution of tourism sites across the country cannot be overemphasised. Host communities undoubtedly generate economic dividends by way of direct and indirect job creation.
However, it appears Ghana is losing out on huge sums of revenue due to what could be described as the lack of attention to most heritage and tourist sites in the country.
In a bid to revamp neglected heritage sites such as the Fort Prinzenstein in Keka as well as underdeveloped ones such as the Pikworo Slave Camp in Paga, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has revealed that it has adopted a module to restructure tourist sites in the country, ABC News can report.
Speaking in an interview with ABC News, Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Akwasi Agyeman said the issue of ownership of tourist sites in Ghana has over the years made it difficult for the Tourism Authority to carry out any rehabilitation works on these sites that seem abandoned by the state.
He expressed confidence that the phenomenon crippling the tourism industry will be cured by its newly adopted module.
”The reason investments have not gone into some of these sites is also a matter of who owns them. You go into a community and there is no proper structure of who owns the site so the community says this is for us. At end of the day when people visit the sites, they take the money and share. We are curing that with a module we have rolled out of Kintampo that is working well. We have the traditional authority, tourism authority and the Municipal or District Assembly coming together owning the facility,” he said.
He stated that the move, which is an agreement between stakeholders in the industry will make it possible for funds to be allocated for redevelopment of tourist sites.
”With this, everybody knows how much is collected and what percentage each stakeholder will get and the rest goes into an EXCO account for redevelopment. We started with Kintampo and when we did that, we have been able to now add a canopy walk way. There is a zip line that also coming up there. It would not have happened but for the module. We want to cure it with regulation so what we have started doing is to sign MOU’s with all the assemblies and traditional authorities where there are these facilities. So far we have Paga, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary,Okyehene Palace, and Bonwire.
”All that will be signed in these agreements will give us some comfort because you are working with public funds so before you go and put your money there, you need to be sure that it’s going to be put to good use and also that it is going to be sustainable. Once we put in those structures, we can now bring in the right investments” Mr. Agyeman said.
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