Tourism Development

24

MAKE SHAI HILLS A GAME PARK…………………..
• To Generate more Revenue for the State
• To Boost Tourism Industry
• And Create More Jobs For the Youth
………………………………………………….An Investor urges Gov’t.
Report By: Paul Harrison Mensah, Tema.
Government has been called upon to develop Shai Hills into first class GAME CENTRE to attract more tourists into the company and rake in substantial revenue for the state.
“There is vast land spanning from Shai Hills up to Akosombo lying idle, this land could be developed into a game park where tourists, leisure travelers, corporate world, students, etc. Could visit regularly and pay little money to support national revenue collection effort,”
This suggestion was made by a foreign investor with vast travelling experience across the globe.
He cited countries like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and more recently Rwanda where they have finest game parks fetching their countries millions of foreign exchange day after day.
In 2017 alone Kenya raked in US$180 million from game park activities whiles Rwanda received closed to US$200 million from tourism to support their economy.
Tourism is Ghana’s 4th highest foreign exchange earner after cocoa, gold and oil.
The sector is expected to expand by 5.6% in 2018 and maintain an annual growth rate of at least 5.1% per annum from next year through to 2027.
International tourist arrivals in Ghana is forecasted to hit a total of about 2 million by 2027 against 750 in 2017, which will generate an income of GH¢5,927.3 million, an increase of 4.1 percent per annum.
The foreign investor observes that tourism could overtake cocoa, gold and oil to become number one foreign exchange earner for the nation if our strategic tourism plan were put right.
“I have toured almost every part of the country and observed that Ghana has huge tourism potential and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts must take advantage to develop all tourist sites to attract more visitors into the country,” he said.
According to him, the geographical and strategic location of Shai Hills makes economic sense to invest heavily into the project and develop it to become a very big game park, where we can even have lodging facilities, restaurants, shopping centres, etc. to buttress income generation efforts the park.
“From Accra International Airport to the Shai Hills is less than 45 minutes’ drive so transit passengers can go there and have fun before continuing with their journey. Those coming from outside the country could also use there as their first point of visit before going to other places in the country, students, corporate executives, institutions and what have you will visit there too.”
“All these will significantly contribute in making Ghana’s tourism better, attractive and competitive for all,” he opined.
Recently, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts launched a campaign dubbed, “Eat Ghana, Feel Ghana, See Ghana and Wear Ghana,” to promote local products and destinations with many domestic enterprises benefitting from this push.
A tourism expert Dr. Franklyn Yeboah who spoke to this reporter also said for Ghana to become a go to destination for many tourists and international travelers, standards are key.
“Strategic planning, professionalism, Service delivery, technology, health, sanitation and hospitality rank supreme among the various parameters which are closely looked at.
Ghana aims at becoming aviation hub, preferred tourism destination and Dubai of West Africa by 2027”
“So therefore, it is about time government listen to some of these find ideas and advice to develop the tourism sector to the highest standard which will create more job opportunities for the youth, generate substantial amount of revenue and boost the industry to become the preferred tourism destination in West Africa’s stressed.”