For every tourist in Ghana, a very common local word you will hear frequently everywhere you go is ”AKWAABA” meaning welcome. This very friendly, warm and culturally rich West African nation blessed with a vast array of natural resources including gold, cocoa and oil is a great tourism hub in Africa. With beautiful beaches, game and wildlife, parks and gardens as well as great historical monuments, Ghana is definitely the place to take that ideal vacation and experience something new. However, recently there have been a few strains on the tourism industry with many challenges and malfunctions. The best way to promote, strengthen and improve this industry is to combine several steps and effectively execute them strategically.
Reduce Fees at Tourist Destinations –
Tourist destinations are the main attractions to tourists when they decide to visit a country. To see a much talked about statue or fort, to visit a historical palace or lake, to hike a record-breaking mountain or to visit an art/cultural centre are just a few of the many activities tourists undertake when they visit Ghana. The Kakum National Park, Cape Coast and Elmina castles, The village on Stilts, The Manhyia Palace and the alarabanga mosque are great places to visit when in Ghana. However, to make these places more attractive, authorities need to take a look at the fees charged at these sites. Some of them are way too expensive and tourists who visit may not want to return in the future or even recommend the place to others who wish to visit. Also, internal travellers like student groups or families do not patronize these tourist sites anymore because of hiked gate fees or prices of antiques and artefacts. When fees are reduced, more tourists will troop into these places, local visits will increase as well and revenue will skyrocket leading to an improvement in the tourism sector.
Include Tourism in Student Curriculum –
One major challenge facing the tourism industry is also the lack of understanding of this great foreign exchange earner. This primarily emanates from the fact that right from elementary stages, tourism is not one of the key topics taught to children. Hence they grow up with little or no understanding of it. Many people have the notion that tourism is just about landmarks and historical sites. However, there is more to it than that. Just like other topics being taught in basic and elementary schools like Information Technology, Science and Agriculture, tourism needs to be incorporated in the curriculums of all schools. This will make for more understanding and appreciation of the sector. Many students will then see the need to take up further courses in tourism leading to careers in the industry. This will only help to make the industry better as more trained professionals with a good understanding of the industry will be actively involved in policy making, implementation and improvement of the industry.
XperienceAfrica.com is a fast growing Africa’s Largest Online Travel Agency (ALOTA) handling hotel, flight and tour booking and reservations and an unmatched experience from each unique destination on the continent of African starting with XperienceGhana.com – Ghana’s Largest Online Travel Agency platform.
Refurbish and renovate broken down monuments and Tourist sites –
Imagine you visited a tourist site in Ghana back in 2006 and saw some very unique monument and had fun with some awesome pictures, Fast Forward 10 years on and you return to the same place only to find cracks and dents, rodents and deserted places, unpainted and very bad facilities. Not the sight to savour anymore right? To get the best out of our tourist sites and national monuments, we need to continuously refurbish and renovate these tourist sites to make it more attractive to first time visitors or those visiting again to recommend the places to others, These sites also have to be fitted with modern facilities such as washrooms, restaurants and roads.
PR and Advertisement –
It is usually said that good things speak for themselves. However, in a fast-growing and competitive world such as ours, there is always a need to go an extra mile to advertise and showcase the richness and beauty of the tourist sites available. Showing the world that Ghana is indeed very beautiful will only attract more tourists to the country. Also, showing the world that we have adequate facilities, good hotels and amazing food will also be a motivating factor for those planning a vacation to add Ghana to their lists. There are many ways to advertise or showcase this country and its resources. We can do that via articles and social media (notably facebook, twitter, Instagram, youtube and snapchat). By constantly putting out there the beauty and history of Ghana, we attract more visitors thereby improving the tourism sector through revenue and business opportunities.
Provide adequate modern facilities close to tourist sites –
To feel confident about visiting another country and having a good time, one has to be sure of access to some very good facilities. Some things that make you feel right at home. Comfortable accommodation, electricity, potable drinking water, internet access, good restaurants and good roads are just basic amenities that tourists look out for when choosing a tourist destination. Providing these facilities increases the chances of getting more tourist visits thereby improving the sector.