Thursday, October 25, 2007
TAMALE, THE HUB OF TOURISM, BUSINESS
Tamale has become a hub for very important and significant national programmes and activities in recent times.
This development is not surprising because the metropolis currently has all that it takes to host any national or international event.
Come to think of it, the area is blessed with a vast stretch of land that offers potential investors and estate developers the opportunity to get value for money for any kind of investment they want to make.
Tamale is relatively a new town, though at the turn of the last century it was just a cluster of villages known mainly for the numerous shea butter trees called “Tama” from which the area got its name Tamale.
In 1905, it became the capital of the Northern Province of the British colony of the Gold Coast.
Undoubtedly, statistics made available by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) show that there area has as many as 70 hotels, 30 restaurants and two tour operating institutions but it is worth noting that a lot more of such facilities are being put up by investors in the sprawling metropolis.
The hosting of the Best Teachers Awards ceremony in the metropolis last week is a case in point. Many invited guests and award winners who had come from far and near, including those who were privileged to visit Tamale for the first time, did indicate that the ceremony was successful.
Everything one desires can be obtained in Tamale, provided one is determined to explore what the cleanest metropolis has to offer.
It was not surprising, therefore, that this year’s national best teacher, Miss Faustina Gyeketey, in an interview with this reporter said “I have never regretted visiting this area”.
Indeed, many expatriates in the area have expressed similar sentiments on several platforms and this is a positive sign of greater things to come.
Estate developers are taking advantage of the opportunities that the area offers to put up new buildings in suburbs.
It is also worth noting that the political landscape in Tamale is vibrant and in recent times not a week passes by without politicians, including almost all the presidential aspirants in the country, visiting the area.
It is heart-warming to note that one of the presidential aspirants of the Convention People Party (CPP), Dr. Paa Kwesi Nduom, found it expedient to launch his presidential campaign in Tamale. Little wonder that in spite of the large number of invited guests, including Dr. Nduom’s supporters who attended the function, all were well catered for by the hospitality industry.
Ironically, in spite of the fact that the area is relatively far from Accra (nearly 700 kilometres from Accra) the distance does not scare away potential visitors’ as evident in the numbers that keep pouring in every week.
For one thing, visitors to the metropolis always make good remarks about the place and although some of them had negative perception about the area before their trips, such negative perceptions are erased anytime they set foot in the metropolis.
It is the conviction of many residents that the successful hosting of CAN 2008 is a foregone conclusion but then it is critical to point out that while some are thinking of portraying the area in a positive light, the existence of some unscrupulous people who would stop at nothing to mar the occasion cannot be wished away.
It is, therefore, imperative for traditional rulers, the security agencies and the Tamale Venue Local Organising Committee (TVOC) members to evolve effective strategies to forestall any negative tendencies that would mar this historic event in the metropolis.
Daily Graphic Friday, October 12, 2007 Page: 29