ALL THE Rs: A REVIEW OF THE SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA CAMPAIGN

Posted on August 1, 2013

3


photo (31)
Today, August 1, 2013, marks three months since initiating SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA and the Change.org campaign. Hope you come on board.

So this is a review featuring the letter R..

R is for rest, and R is for rehabilitation and might as well add R is for relaxation and R is for renewal. That’s what tourism is all about and Ghana is a great place for all.

R is for the realization that, after 13 years in the hospitality business running FOUR VILLAGES INN, something is NOT right.
FOUR VILLAGES INN

R is for rates, that is occupancy rates…Ghana is a peaceful sub-Saharan country, a rarity in fact, with friendly, hospitable people and lots to see and do. Why the hell does a small first class B and B in Kumasi, in the very heart of Ghana’s cultural tourism, with a great internet presence, ranked No. 1 on the Trip Advisor site by far do so poorly?
certificate of excellence

R is for rational…it makes sense to re-brand Ghana to reflect the resilience and radiance of this nation and those who visit her, repeatedly and those first-timers too!

R is for response, that is getting proactive, not just writing posts on this this madinghana.wordpress blog analyzing why there is no political will to promote tourism, but actually trying to do something!

So on May 1st Workers Day I established SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA and the accompanying CHANGE.ORG PETITION. Yes, I was tired of all the rhetoric, my own, and I thought, might as well take a risk…you have nothing to lose and everything to gain for Ghana. One scrapper even commented, “I can’t believe somebody is doing this!”
photo (60)

R is for restrictive regulations…for example, over-landing to Ghana, that is entering from one of Ghana’s neighbours? Better have that visa in place, purchased in your country of origin, or you just might be refused entry to Ghana unless you take out residency of the country you are departing from , or…..we won’t go there…
passport presentation
….applying for a simple tourist visa, get everything done four copies forms/pictures and send off your passport with the bucks… And don’t forget to get that letter of invitation from somebody in Ghana even if you don’t know a single soul in Ghana and your only contact is a hotel you’ve booked…

And then there’s all that rigmarole getting that prior approval for that Visa on Arrival and the US$150 a person fee ..heaven forbid if you are a family of four!

R is revenues…that’s what visa public policy is all about…visa revenues pay for the upkeep and staffing of the Ghanaian embassies/consulates on foreign soil..

R is for reciprocation– Ghanaians are travellers who leave the shores of their native land to make their fortunes elsewhere….probably reflective of realities at home…but over the years, it has become harder and harder for Ghanaians to travel and work. Reciprocation means you come to my country…I want to go to yours.

R is for retaliation which means if it’s hard for me to go to your country, I’ll make it hard for you to come to mine… this word is very much in the news given the British government’s planned £3,000 refundable bond to be posted by “high risk” citizens from 6 “high risk”countries Ghana being one of them…lot of resentment over this one!

R is for results…absolutely none after three months…not even a commencement of a dialogue, a conversation with authority, neither involving myself nor my civil society association The Ghana Hotels Association …on the internet or at the table. I told my son this and his reply was , “Well, Papa, you weren’t expecting anything, were you?”

AND THAT IS THE CAMPAIGN IN A NUTSHELL….but Scrappers, 277 and counting and petitioners, 156 and counting, won’t give up! R is for relentless….r is for resolve

Advertisements