The Western region has many tourist sites that must be exploited and well packaged to attract domestic and international tourists.
As the world prepares to live with COVID-19 or find a solution to the pandemic, and vacationers prepare to follow safety protocols to travel the world, the country’s tourism industry must also position itself to capture its share of tourists.
However, although Sekondi-Takoradi, the administrative capital, and other parts of the western region have many sites worth exploring by tourists, the majority of these sites require special attention to development so that ‘they can be placed on the world tourism map.
The area boasts of rock shrines, forts along the coast, an island, a village on stilts on the Nzulezu river, rubber, cocoa, old buildings, Nkrumah’s burial place in Nkroful , a railway industry with so much history, an energy enclave in Aboadze and palm plantations among others that have rich histories as yet unknown.
Statistics have shown that from $ 979 billion in revenue in 2010, the tourism industry generated more than $ 1.48 trillion in 2019 before COVID-19.
The trillion dollar industry is undoubtedly important and a fundamental source of income for many countries.
Therefore, as interest in the country grows, there is a need to develop tourist spots in the region to attract more people as the world gradually embraces the new way of life, which follows prescribed safety protocols everywhere. where we are going.
Here in the region there are several historic buildings with unique characteristics which, when properly maintained and the stories behind them are inscribed, could spark the interest of tourists.
The point is, a lot of people eat chocolate, use the end products of gold, manganese, palm and rubber, but they don’t know how these crops are cared for, transplanted and cared for until they are starting to bear fruit.
The region was instrumental in the struggle for independence, but the stories of figures such as Paa Grant, Kpobi Binny, Nana Nketsia IV, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, historic cemeteries in Axim, railway workers and buildings n have yet to gain attention.
There are also historic places such as Cape Three Points, forts and other remains along the coast with rich natural rural settlements that provide ambiance to today’s child born in the city who does not know nothing in rural life to visit and learn.
In Sekondi there are old colonial buildings in British Sekondi, the fish roundabout, Kundumase (Konfoase), Fort Orange, the old post office, Monkey Hill, Ankasa
Forest reserve and West Africa Bank’s first standard building which have all been left unattended.
It is sad to say that Fort Orange, built as a trading post by the Dutch on the Gold Coast in 1642, has been tampered with; the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority transformed part of it into a residential facility and a lighthouse.
The exterior of the fort has been overrun with weeds, which has next to it the First Standard West African Bank building, a beautiful structure left to the mercy of time with part turned into a warehouse for oil and fishing gear , and the ground and the roof collapsed.
The walls have deep cracks and a giant tree grows between the walls, as other historic buildings next to it have also been weathered – part of it has been converted into a residential settlement.
If we took tourism seriously, these structures would not be left to rot. Museums and historic places around the world such as the Dome of Amsterdam, the Picasso Museum, the Mandela and Apartheid Museums in South Africa have been consciously turned into tourist spots.
These buildings in the Western Region and other parts of the country have richer and better histories than other countries and must be highly protected and preserved for tourists.
In museums in South Africa and other parts of the world, no tourist enters without buying souvenirs: T-shirts branded with Mandela, the city, pencils, books, among others, which provide work for thousands of tour guides, officers and security guards.
As the new Minister of Tourism enters space, one of the most important things to pay attention to should be the development of untapped tourism potentials in the western region.
Due to the port of Takoradi, Sekondi-Takoradi receives a lot of tourists on cruise ships, but unfortunately they spend less than 12 hours, the majority of them going to the central region – Kakum Park and Cape Coast Castle .
Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Regional Director Mr. George Nkrumah Ansere said: âThe western region has better facilities than the neighboring central region; However, the challenge here is when cruise ships have less than five hours to stay. “
Mr Ansere said the area or Sekondi-Takoradi did not have well-organized sites to cater for the enjoyment of tourists who had to be moved to Cape Coast.
The region and the twin city have beautiful places for tourists; especially in Shama and Sekondi-Takoradi, where there is an island between Anlo Beach and Shama with an untapped estuary.
The area, if given much attention, could become an avenue for boat rides and other exciting activities for tourists in addition to the development of various sites in the city and other parts of the region.
He said the Twin City itself was a good destination for conferences and business tourism as it had all the necessary facilities, from hotels to a vibrant nightlife, but it took a conscious effort to create more. tourist products, what the authority was working on. to.
In Sekondi, he said: âWe are planning to turn some of the old structures into a marine museum for tourists. At the heart of the city is the evergreen Monkey Hill, strategically located and very close to tourists and still a habitat for some wildlife and needs to be developed further.
The minister should also consider harmonizing the roles of the RGT and the Council of Museums and Monuments (GMMB).
Established under the National Museums Ordinance in 1957, the GMMB manages the cultural heritage of the country and, as such, is the legal custodian of the movable and immovable national cultural heritage of Ghana.
Interestingly, the GTA, a state agency under the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, is responsible for regulating tourism in the country by marketing, promoting, licensing, ranking, researching and developing tourist facilities and services in the country.
Some of the historic and heritage sites are in poor condition because these two agencies – GMMB and GTA – do not know who is responsible for ensuring that it is safe and developed to attract tourists; therefore, aligning roles will help the industry.