No political will to develop tourism: theory no. 5

Posted on February 21, 2013

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tourism ministerSpeaking of Ministers of Tourism, it always seems that these are patronage appointments, that is rewarding the party faithful. And it seems that the new Minister of Tourism is no exception. She, and they’ve been shes for as long as I can remember, is a lawyer and her papa held a post in a past NDC government. Now this does not mean she won’t do a great job. She accredited herself well in the vetting carried live on GTV minus representation from the opposition party.

That is until the last question posed in an offhand manner by the astute Chairman of the vetting session…

Question: There seems to be an economic activity that sees tourists leaving Accra with a packed lunch only to return to Accra that night? How will you address that situation?

Answer: We’ll encourage the development of quality restaurants outside of Accra so that people can eat in these establishments.

Of course, this is not a transcript, but that was the gist of the exchange.

O.M.G. thought I. Had the chairman of the vetting committee been reading the Four Villages Inn web site THE VILLAGE NEWS: EDITION 11-January 14, 2006. Here’s what the item says on the day trip out of Accra economic activity:

Cape Coast and Elmina-More than Just a Day trip

The charming centres of Cape Coast and Elmina with their castles, forts , beaches, and Kakum National Park with its canopy walkway are must see destinations while visiting Ghana. To many they are the jewel in the crown and, if you have the time, merit two or more days to explore while staying at any number of excellent establishments in all price ranges from Anomabu to Elmina. However, many hotels in Accra and Takoradi abd beyond are now offering attractively priced day tours to Cape Coast and Elmina. This way, tourists can spend at least four or more hours in transit only to be rushed through the attractions. Cape Coast/Elmina is a destination in its own right

And then I wrote a similar item in the next edition on Kumasi no less! Yes, Kumasi day trips out of Accra. Well, they could do that in 2007, but not today because thankfully the road is in much worse shape…sorryo!

Kumasi: More Than Just a Day Trip! * September 10, 2007

In a past Village News item (January 14, 2006) entitled “Cape Coast More than Just a Day Trip”, we referred to tour operators zipping tourists to Cape Coast/Elmina and back to Accra all in one day! Well, apparently this is also the case with Kumasi – that’s a minimum of five hours driving each way which really doesn’t leave too much time to discover the vibrant city of Kumasi with its throbbing market, charming cultural centre, fascinating Asantehene’s palace and surrounding craft villages … not to mention natural splendors such as the crater Lake Bosomtwi and bird and butterfly sanctuaries. And here too there is a wide selection of first rate hotels and guest houses – i.e. FOUR VILLAGES INN, as well as a wide variety of restaurants providing great dining experiences. Kumasi is an exciting tourist destination in its own right and tourists must be wary of hotel based tour operators in Accra offering unrealistic day package tours.

Well, Mr. Chairman, were you satisfied with that fatuous answer? I wasn’t! All too often the political will only benefits Accra where the elite resides and works. Accra really is a country!

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