Yesterday, an uncanny co-incidence took place. I was reconnecting with my co-administrator Festus Tumi of Destination Ghana fame on the SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA Facebook group site. Our messaging took us to Philip Briggs’ latest update to the Bradt Guide to Ghana. The post concerned the collapse in standards of a once upmarket hotel in Cape Coast which you can read here.
Here’s my take on this as expressed to Festus messaging on Facebook:
“Just forwarded an email to you I got from a past guests at FVI. I suggested your name to sit on a panel or to recommend somebody. It’s on conservation of culture and environment through tourism. You know I feel about that! The more tourists the more things are valued, the more they are conserved-like Sanaa Lodge LOL or maybe it’s the other way around..the fewer tourists the longer things will last Sanaa Lodge, culture, the environment. Na.
Still conservation costs money and taxes are the key and more tourists = more taxes…man, I’ve been here too long-my thinking has gone warped..I look at houses and apt. building and I say to my daughter “they all pay taxes!” but that’s not how it works there, is it? enough…hope you take up the opportunity…good exposure for Destination Ghana and you…and maybe scrap short term tourist visas to Ghana….LOL”
Ya, that’s me ranting! By the way, “here” is Montreal Canada where I have been more than a month now…
Anyways here’s the email from that past guest. It came right while I was messaging to Festus:
I trust you are keeping well.
As you might be aware, I am knee-deep (but to be honest, sometimes it feel as if it is only my nose and ears sticking out above the mud…) in the LCA Ghana and its Shai Hills project. (see attached some brief background on LCA Ghana)
As part of awareness raising, we will be hosting a climate change symposium on 19 August (14h00-17h00) in Accra at the Best Western Hotel (the hotel is sponsoring the event). We have had some enthusiastic response from most sectors and even Former President Kufuor (now UN envoy on Climate Change) has tentatively agreed to speak at the event. But I sit with a bit of a dilemma. The theme of the symposium is: Conservation of Environment and Culture in the time of Climate Change, and I have no-one to speak on conservation of culture or tourism ….
We have of course invited the relevant ministries, including those responsible for culture and tourism, but have not as yet received any response. I am wondering if you know someone (preferably in Accra as we have no funding to pay for people to travel or participate) working in tourism (and if possible, culture) who would be willing to participate on a panel?
Please could you let me know?
Thanks very much.
All the best
Anyways, Festus is keen to sit on the panel and I hope he ties the theme of the conference into the campaign to scrap short term tourist visas to Ghana.