How We Can Develop Tourist Sites in Ghana and Improve on Hospitality
We all know how tourism contributes to our GDP and drives the economy of Ghana.
Without it, Ghana would be one step behind in our fight for economic independence, that is why its importance cannot be overemphasized.
We have the tourist attractions, what we need to do is to improve, and develop them so that pageantries and reality television shows will stop sending winners to countries like Dubai and South Africa.
We need to develop our tourist attractions so that when beautiful African countries are mentioned, Ghana will be in the top 3.
How can we do that? Where do we start? What infrastructures and resources do we need to make the vision a reality? What is the role of the government and the indigenous Ghanaian?
Below are a few things we can do to develop our tourist attractions, bring in more visitors and improve on hospitality.
Most of our tourist attractions consist of wildlife and forest reserves. We already started our fight to preserve wildlife when we planted 5 million trees.
But is that enough? We will need to keep fighting against illegal mining in the country, this activity is destroying our water bodies every day. Fishes are dying and people in certain areas in the country are not getting clean water to use for their daily activities.
Our river bodies and forest reserves serve as tourist attractions and we need to keep them clean and preserve them to attract tourists.
Bush fires should be stopped, those who use forests as prayer camps should be stopped. Negligence is one of the things that cause bush fires. The animals in our zoos should be well taken care of and fed.
There have been complaints that animals do not look well fed. They are lean and sometimes die because of conditions they find themselves in.
If we can not feed these animals or take proper care of them, we need to send them back to their natural habitat.
We can also try to use the new technology that China uses to help animals reproduce at places other than their habitat, that way, we can have more animals give birth to their own and keep up the cycle of life.
Construct Good Roads
Government or individuals that have the capacity should construct good roads that lead to these tourist sites.
Bumpy and unsafe roads do not speak well of us. Most of these tourist sites are in rural areas and because of that, the government doesn’t seem to pay much attention to them but it is just as important as constructing good roads in the capital.
We need to construct roads with street lights and canopy palm trees to make the ride to these places fun and enjoyable.
We already have some car rental services for visitors who want to travel to other regions for site seeing, which is a very good initiative, but if the roads are not good, these companies will not like to give out their cars.
Train and Educate Tour Guides
Tour guides, travel agents, and managers should be properly educated, especially tour guides.
They need to be trained and educated enough to communicate and answer questions that will be asked by tourists, providing accurate information. Some people have complained about guides who are not friendly, and sometimes not much educated.
Sometimes, when you visit some tourist sites, there are no guides available at all. That is very disappointing and is nothing to write home about.
They should also be well trained on how to ensure that tourists and visitors are safe on their tour.
Create New Tourist Sites
There is nothing wrong with a little creativity. We need to create new sites and redesign the old ones if we can. Somewhere in China, there is a glass rail built on top of rocks.
The glass is meant to look as if it is cracking when a visitor steps on it, this site is both scary and wonderous. People go there to have fun and step on a glass railing that pretends to crack.
Can’t we be as creative as this? Is it rocks we don’t have? Or the technology to make glass look like it’s about to crack?
We have numerous water bodies, it is possible that we can create an underground room or tunnel filled with something that people would love to see.
Take a look at the aquarium in Dubai’s biggest mall, is that creativity beyond us? What do we lack?
What we lack is resources and finance because we do have the initiatives that we can bring on board.
People even paint rocks in different colours, put them back into the rivers, build a little walkway around it and it becomes a tourist site. People need to come up with ideas and investors need to put their hands in it as well.
The general public needs to be educated on the importance of tourism, that way, advertising it can be a lot easier.
When someone doesn’t know the importance of doing something, he or she will not do it. We need to put Ghana on the tourism map. We need to put our attractions out there, using blogs, websites, and social media platforms.
There are already a few platforms on social media that are showing Ghana to the rest of the world but is that enough?
Through Festivals like Panafest and Chalewote Street Art Festival, we can welcome foreigners to Ghana and show them our attractions, it’s also a way of advertisement.
The Year of Return will also be of great help. Ghanaians living abroad can return with friends to see how the country has changed.
We need to give volunteer opportunities to foreigners to come and visit the country, these are all ways through which we can advertise what we have. Social media does a good job but getting people to visit the country is much more important.
Most of our television channels are now on DSTV and we must do our best to put Ghana out there, show them who we are and what we have.
Every country has tourist attractions, it is up to us to make ours unique. We need to improve on what we already have while we work towards building new sites.
The government should do what it can do and perhaps in a few years, things can be better. We already have classy hotels and lodges for tourists, there is nothing wrong with adding a few more.