Let’s use our resources wisely
By: GODWIN YIRENKYI
One of the major challenges of modern tourism planning is how to minimize negative impacts on the economic, social and natural environments of destination. Thus it is pertinent to cast a look around our attraction sites and recognize some of the things that we may not be doing right and correct them before it gets too late. Here are a few examples.
At a first glance, the photo on the right showing visitors standing on top of the umbrella Rock near the Boti Falls, in the Eastern Region may look impressive.
However, a critical assessment of the situation shows how wrong it is that ladders have been placed against it (allegedly by some local people) to allow people to climb to the top (for a small fee).
This because such usage can cause the delicately balanced overlying rock to topple over and then the remaining stump will not be attractive anymore.
There is no doubt that the installation in 1995of a canopy walkway inside the Kakum National Park, near Cape Coast, Central Region has boosted dramatically the number of visitors to the place. But are we using it properly?
At a pre-launch media tour of the $100,000 USAID facility (published by the Times on April 21, 1995 page 7), specific instructions on safety were left by Dr. Lllar Muul, the Canadian engineer, who built it concerning the use of the walkway as follows:
(a) That children under 12 years should not be allowed to use the walkway
(b) That though the walkway can support two people at a time only one person should cross the span from one supporting platform to the other to allow room for emergency rescue and
(c) Only four persons and a park guide should stand on one platform at the same time. Yet we often see photos showing the contrary.
The next area of concern arises when one see hundreds of holiday makers frolicking in Lake Bosomtwe. While such a picture can impress event planners of high patronage, the truth is that too many people playing or swimming in the lake does a lot of damage to the lake which is completely surrounded by hills so that no water goes our of it and it fishes.
Consequently every kind of waste within the large basin ultimately ends up at the lake’s bottom, adding to its gradual siltation and thereby, affecting its delicate balance. What is required here is careful planning and alternative usages like walk tours and respect of indigenous taboos in order to protect the lake; one of the most interesting geological landmarks on earth sacred to the Ashantis who live around it and puzzling to scientists.
The tourism authorities should look into these and other such issues including littering of tourist sites and do something about them.
WORLD TRAVEL MARKET ENDS
The Minister of Tourism, Juliana Azumah Mensah this week led a Ghanaian delegation to celebrate the 30th edition of the World Travel Market (WTM), the premier global event of the travel industry in London. The event which opened on Monday was attended by about 187 countries and tourism-related organizations.
Ghana’s delegation included representative from the Ghana Tourist Board as well as the private sector who mounted a colourful stand to showcase the country’s tourism offer including, pan-African history and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, eco-Tourism, events like PANAFEST and traditional culture including festivals.
A highlight event on Tuesday was a half day Ministers’ Summit under the topic: “Roadmap for recovery: Sustainable tourism in challenging times’.
The Ghanaian Times Page: 16 Friday, November 13, 2009