Posted on May 10, 2012


This post on the Tourism in Ghana site produced by Kojo Bentum Williams from the Ghana Tourism Authority.

It prompted me to email Kojo with a copy to Herbert Quaye, National President of the Ghana Hotels Association, requesting the Authority helps the association with statistics and arguments to add credence to pleas by the association for peaceful elections.

Here’s my email:

Hi Kojo,

So that’s what the destroyed shrine in Timbuktu looks like! Hope they can refurbish it. What a loss if they can’t, to the culture, to Malian tourism, to the world!

I believe the following is related. I am very anxious about the possibility of violence at election time here in Ghana which would affect our hospitality sector- probably more than any other. Can you imagine the damage done to Mali’s tourism industry and economy!

I wrote a post on my madinghana blog expressing my concerns regarding the upcoming elections. I sent the link to the President of the Ghana Hotels Association Herbert Quaye pleading for the association to join the community (politicians, religious leaders, chiefs) calling for peaceful elections.

Still the association has not joined the conversation-at least not that I am aware of! I was thinking perhaps that in order to make statements the association might need statistics and specific details on just how important the tourism sector is to Ghana. That might be your department at the Ghana Tourism Authority.

May I suggest that together with your colleagues perhaps you could put together facts and arguments why Ghana’s upcoming elections MUST be civil. Hey, maybe one argument, at least from your perspective at the Ghana Tourism Authority is you wouldn’t like to see the staff of the Ghana Tourism Authority downsized. You can imagine the lay-offs at the Malian Tourism Authority now that their industry has been virtually terminated! Of course the big arguments would be all those hotels, restaurants, car hires etc. being idle and perhaps going out of business. Just how many units are there and how many people are employed and what revenues are accrued for Mother Ghana?

Kojo, we must get proactive. Recently, social commentators on Ghanaian society have said that our woes are a result of a lack of positive activism. Let us at least change that by the Ghana Tourism Authority in the public sector working together with the Ghana Hotels Association in the private sector to publicize what is at stake. WE BOTH HAVE SO MUCH TO LOSE!

Best wishes,

Chris, Host

and…here is his reply:

Hello Chris,you are spot on in all the issues you have highlighted in your mail. on the aspect of the GTA, i will confer with my boss and surely get into action. about your trade associations,the least said about them, the better.
Talk about the edifice destroyed by the tuareg rebels, the consequences is obvious.
have a blissful day

So…let’s see what eventuates from this….

Note: I throw this correspondence out into the public domain because of the importance of the issue. Anything to move stakeholders to act is valid and pertinent.

Comment: More than likely the feelings are mutual…the Ghana Hotels Association probably shares the same attitude about the Ghana Tourism Authority…the least said about them the better.

Well, all I can say, is let’s get past the petty differences and start collaborating. There is so much at stake.

Now if I were the President of the Ghana Hotels Association, I’d be pleading for peaceful elections saying “Don’t fuck around. It’s our livelihoods that you’re playing around with!”

But I’m not… for obvious reasons.