Investment begins to pay off.While gold remains Ghana's top export commodity and, in spite of depressed world prices in recent years, is the sector that attracts the most capital, another of Ghana's industries is proving just as valuable. Over the centuries, the sparkle of gold has been Ghana's luring force but the hospitality of the people has shone no less brightly.
From the time merchant ships began to dock on Ghana's shores in search of the gold, visitors have been in awe of the incredible beauty of the country and the infectious warmth of its people.
Today Ghana is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination. The attraction is double-headed: the endless beaches, lush rain forests and unique estuaries are an eco-tourist's dream, while the rich heritage draws visitors from all over the world - from African Americans in search of their roots to history enthusiasts wanting to explore the chilling past of a country ravaged rav·age
v. rav·aged, rav·ag·ing, rav·ages
1. To bring heavy destruction on; devastate: A tornado ravaged the town.
2. by the slave trade slave trade
Capturing, selling, and buying of slaves. Slavery has existed throughout the world from ancient times, and trading in slaves has been equally universal. Slaves were taken from the Slavs and Iranians from antiquity to the 19th century, from the sub-Saharan .
After years of letting the untapped potential of the industry lie dormant Verb 1. lie dormant - be inactive, as if asleep; "His work lay dormant for many years" , Ghana is starting to invest in tourism - and making excellent returns. Earnings from this sector are slowly but surely catching up with income from gold. Last year gold brought in $687.8m while tourism earned $283.96m, making it the third highest foreign revenue earner behind gold and cocoa. The outlook for this year is even brighter. Earnings from tourism are expected to top $300m from tourist arrivals totalling about 400,000.
The airlines have been the quickest to respond to the tourism boom. From the once-a-week flight by a handful of international airlines 10 years ago, most major international airlines now make five flights to Ghana every week. These include KLM KLM Kaiserliche Marine (Enigma: Rising Tide game)
KLM Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (Royal Dutch Airlines)
KLM Klub Langer Menschen (German: Tall Person Club) , Swissair, British Airways British Airways
in full British Airways PLC
International passenger airline based in London. In 1936 British Airways Ltd. was founded through the merger of three smaller airlines. , Luftansa, Ethiopia Airlines and American Airlines American Airlines
Major U.S. airline. American was created through a merger of several smaller U.S. airlines and incorporated in 1934. It continued to buy the routes of other airlines, becoming an international carrier in the 1970s; its routes include South America, the . So intense is the competition for the Ghanaian destination now that the airlines are locked in a bitter price war. Airfares have tumbled in the process.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority Civil Aviation Authority civil (Brit) n → Behörde f für Zivilluftfahrt has responded to the boom in air traffic by modernising and expanding its facilities. Last year, international airport inspectors pronounced Accra's international airport one of the safest in the world. A complete 'airport village' complex is being built around the main airport. This will house a five-star airport hotel complex, a shopping complex, office blocks and carports. Local and foreign investors have responded enthusiastically with bids to pre-finance some of the construction. After completion of the face-lift, Accra airport will join the ranks of the world's modern airports.
Plans are also afoot to build a second international airport in Kumasi, Ghana's second largest city, situated in the centre of the country. This will take the strain off Accra and facilitate cargo and passenger service to the central and northern parts of Ghana.
The Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA GCAA Golf Coaches Association of America
GCAA General Civil Aviation Authority (United Arab Emirates)
GCAA Ghana Civil Aviation Authority
GCAA Gambia Civil Aviation Authority
GCAA Gulf Coast Angler's Association ) is currently among the most profitable companies in Ghana. Chief executive officer Andy Mensah, who has been in charge of reforms for 10 years, has received national and international commendation for pragmatic leadership. The GCAA, having hived off most of its commercial activities to private entrepreneurs, is focusing on improving facilities and directing new developments. A modern cargo village is being run by British cargo-handling firm AFGO AFGO Another Freaking Growth Opportunity (polite form)
AFGO A Fine Good Organization .
In line with the official open-door policy Noun 1. open-door policy - the policy of granting equal trade opportunities to all countries
national trading policy, trade policy - a government's policy controlling foreign trade , the GCAA is in the process of adopting an Open Skies This article is written like a personal reflection or and may require .
Please [ improve this article] by rewriting this article in an . Policy to attract more landings in Accra. The policy will make it cheaper and bureaucratically less cumbersome for aircraft to land in Accra.
Slowest off the mark
The slowest off the blocks in the race for the Ghanaian tourist dollar are the top hotels. There are 10,879 hotel rooms in Ghana providing 14,289 beds in 730 hotels. There are three four-star hotels and 14 three-star hotels. Together the top three hotels have only 519 beds between them. With an average occupancy rate Noun 1. occupancy rate - the percentage of all rental units (as in hotels) are occupied or rented at a given time
pct, per centum, percent, percentage - a proportion in relation to a whole (which is usually the amount per hundred) of 72.60% there's hardly room for large executive conferences. For instance, when Ghana hosted the African-African American Summit in Accra in May, the newest addition to the big-name hotels, LA Palm Royal Hotel, was pressured to complete a new wing of its hotel for visiting African leaders and ministers.
All the top hotels have to be booked well in advance for large conferences. It is alleged that President Clinton, during his African tour last year, wished to spend the night in Accra but could not find enough top-quality rooms to accommodate his 600-plus entourage conveniently. He chose Kampala as his first rest stop.
Yet conference tourism has been on the rise in Ghana. Ghana's political stability and its strides in multi-party democracy have marked it as the ideal conference venue for most sub-regional international conferences. This year the World Tourism Organisation and the African Tourism Association held their annual meetings jointly in Accra. This was closely followed by Reverend Leon Sullivan's African African-American Summit. Both events demanded top class hotel accommodation in good numbers.
Clearly there is an urgent need for more top class hotel accommodation in Accra and Kumasi if the goal set by the National Tourism Plan for Ghana (1996-2010) is to succeed. The World Tourism Organisation (WTO See World Trade Organization. ) projects that by 2010 one million tourists arrivals will be achieved, generating $1.5bn annually. It is an ambitious target, but tourism authorities think the country is on course to reach that goal.
A human resource development and training policy has reached an advanced stage of implementation. Industry standards and regulations to ensure quality standards in service delivery are being vigorously pursued.
A proposal for the establishment of a tourism development fund to support local enterprises is also under consideration. This is to ensure the adequate participation of indigenous enterprises in tourism development. An assessment of infrastructural needs, such as roads, airports and utility services has been planned to benefit tourism and other vital sectors of the economy such as agriculture, mining, industry and commerce.
The participation of various stakeholders in tourism - the public and private sectors, academics, non-governmental organisations and local communities in decision-making and planning - has created a positive and enabling environment for the development and promotion of the industry.
Environmental success story
A typical success story is that of Kakum National Park Kakum National Park is one of the best known national parks in Ghana; it is in the southern part of Ghana, in what is known as the Central Region. The Park was first established in 1990 from an area of 350 square kilometers to the north of Cape Coast and Elmina near the small town (see page 62), a 350-square-kilometre timber concession in the Central Region of Ghana, which has been effectively developed to preserve the hundreds of species of indigenous flora and fauna.
This park has attracted over 100,000 domestic and international visitors since its establishment in 1991 and generated almost $500,000 in receipts. It has also provided employment opportunities and cultural and scientific exchange experiences beneficial to both the host community and visitors.
Several other sites in Ghana are responding to this sustainable nature-based tourism product development. These include Lake Bosumtwi Lake Bosumtwi, situated within an ancient meteorite impact crater, is approximately 8 km across and the only natural lake in Ghana. It is situated about 30 km south-east of Kumasi and is a popular recreational area. , a 10km meteorite crater meteorite crater
Depression that results from the impact of a meteorite with a solid object in space. Impact craters have been discovered on Earth, the Moon, Mars, other planets and satellites, and asteroids; they probably occur on unprotected surfaces of similar bodies lake located in the Ashanti Region Ashanti is an administrative region in central Ghana. Most of the region's inhabitants are Ashanti people, one of Ghana's major ethnic groups. Most of Ghana's cocoa is grown in Ashanti, and it is also a major site of Ghana's gold-mining industry. (the cultural hub of Ghana's tourism); the Mole National Park, a 500-square-kilometre savanna savanna or savannah (both: səvăn`ə), tropical or subtropical grassland lying on the margin of the trade wind belts. park in the Northern Region which boasts a diversity of flora and fauna; the Volta lake estuary with its mangrove mangrove, large tropical evergreen tree, genus Rhizophora, that grows on muddy tidal flats and along protected ocean shorelines. Mangroves are most abundant in tropical Asia, Africa, and the islands of the SW Pacific. vegetation, thousands of migratory birds, game fish and sea turtles; and the Baubeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary The Monkey Sanctuary was founded in 1964 by Len Williams as a cooperative that would care for rescued woolly monkeys. Based in Looe, Cornwall, the sanctuary has several woolly monkeys that are descended from the original rescued pets, as well as some capuchin monkeys that have been where the local community are extremely protective of the monkeys which co-inhabit the area.
"Our objective is to achieve the distinguishing characteristics of sustainable environmental or nature-based tourism, which places great emphasis on the host communities as well as tourists. The dual purpose of conserving the natural areas and providing economic opportunities for the surrounding communities can be accomplished if the correct techniques are strictly adhered to," says Fianko.
Deputy Secretary-General of the WTO, Dr David de Villiers de Villiers may refer to:
Exploring new cultures is one of the motivating factors which makes people travel and the African continent is characterised by the diversity and wealth of its cultural heritage. The legacy of ancient traditional customs handed down from generation to generation which are so much part of the African way of life constitute a unique opportunity for the traveller.
Ghana recently witnessed what is perhaps one of the greatest cultural events of this millennium - the funeral of the late Otumfuo Opoku Ware II and the coronation of His The Ash Royal Highness “HRH” redirects here. For other uses, see HRH (disambiguation).
Royal Highness (abbreviation HRH) is a style (His Royal Highness or Her Royal Highness); plural Royal Highnesses (abbreviation TRH, Otumfau Osei Tutu II, both kings of the Ashanti Kingdom, which has been proclaimed a World Heritage Institution by UNESCO UNESCO: see United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization.
in full United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization .
A pan-African Festival of Arts and Culture (Panafest), which was established to showcase Africa's culture on a biennial basis, will enter its fourth year in July.
Efforts are also being made to calendarise the numerous cultural festivals in the country to enable the Ghana Tourist Board to market these products to the international community. Already, major festivals involving the Fante (Fetu Afahye), Akwapim (Odwira), Ga (Homowo), Ewe (Hogbetsotso) and Krobo (Asafotufiam) ethnic groups are well known and attract a good number of tourists, both local and international.
A winning combination
Sustainable resource development requires management of the environment so that it is not degraded or destroyed, but is available for both present and future use.
"Ours is a win-win option to advance multiple national objectives including the generation of foreign exchange, expansion of employment opportunities for the rural poor and depressed urban settings and also to help provide funding for natural and cultural heritage preservation.
"This we must do through conservation of important natural areas, restoration and preservation of historical sites, improvement of local infrastructure, and finally community involvement in tourism development to reduce negative socio-cultural impacts as well as to spread socio-economic benefits of tourism," says Owusu Fianko.
RELATED ARTICLE: A fine balance
Speaking at the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) and African Travel Association (ATA (1) (AT Attachment) The specification for IDE drives. See IDE.
(2) See analog telephone adapter.
ATA - Advanced Technology Attachment ) joint meeting in Accra in May, Ghana Tourist Board executive director Doreen Owusu Fianko said that Africa is the fastest growing tourism region in the world. Last year international arrivals went up by an impressive 7.5%.
This growth, she said, was spurred by solid increases in nature-based tourism in southern Africa
In Ghana, tourism currently provides 360,000 direct and indirect jobs. While direct employment in tourism is relatively limited, the multiplier effect Multiplier Effect
The expansion of a country's money supply that results from banks being able to lend. The size of the multiplier effect depends on the percentage of deposits that banks are required to hold on reserves. of 3.5% and strong growth in tourism are indicative of the employment possibilities for the industry and its potential poverty reducing effects.
These indicators confirm the belief that current and future travel trends favour destinations which can offer unique natural and cultural heritage experiences or ecotourism e·co·tour·ism
Tourism involving travel to areas of natural or ecological interest, typically under the guidance of a naturalist, for the purpose of observing wildlife and learning about the environment. .
Africa, the cradle of mankind and nature's store house, with its wide diversity of vibrant ethnic cultures expressed in a multitude of customs and traditions, has a tremendous potential to become the major tourism destination for the new millennium.
Africa is also exceptionally rich in visual arts visual arts npl → artes fpl plásticas
visual arts npl → arts mpl plastiques
visual arts npl → , drama and dance performances, textile fashions, costumes, architecture, exotic cuisine, indigenous institutions and colourful festivals.
"Our major concerns, however, are the many difficult, urgent and extremely challenging problems of positively reducing poverty while protecting and preserving the natural and cultural environment," said Fianko.
To address these concerns, Ghana has sought technical and financial assistance from the WTO and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDP Unión Nacional para la Democracia y el Progreso (National Union for Democracy and Progress) ) respectively and has evolved a strategy to develop tourism resources on a sustainable basis to ensure a more humane, equitable and enduring development of its communities.
This strategy is contained in a 15-year Integrated Tourism Development Programme (1996-2010). Essentially, the programme has an overall policy framework for sustainable development and a master plan establishing priority development zones with clear regulations and carrying capacities.