Togbui Kodzoga V, chief of Kpando Gadza in the Kpando Municipality of the Volta Region, has said the socio-economic development of the area is predicated on its cultural and tourism products.
He urged the local Assembly and other stakeholders to invest heavily in Kpando’s tourism potential to open up the area for rapid development.
Togbui Kodzoga said the Kpando enclave retained a rich untapped history of the colonial era, a unique bouquet of cultures, and also blossoming is the skilled and vibrant craft industry.
The chief, who was chairing a regional stakeholders review of the draft Tourism Act (2019) in Kpando, spoke about German’s efforts at developing the area into an industrial zone in the past and underscored the need for stakeholders to elevate the enclave.
He said the 40-year collapse of the Dayibakaka Festival also buried Kpando’s growth prospects as it’s celebration brought together indigenes from across the world and exposed the tourism potential of the commercial town.
Togbui Kodzoga said chieftancy disputes also contributed to the lack of development and that the area is looking forward to a united paramountcy to help drive it’s advancement.
He said without the support of traditional authorities, many tourism investments in the country would struggle to succeed as they wove around ethnicity and culture.
Mr Sulemana Amadu, Senior Resource Officer at the Volta Regional office of the Ghana Toursim Authority (GTA), said many tourism operators in the region struggled to access capital and appealed to financial institutions to provide the needed support.
He said service quality also remained a challenge, but noted that it was currently being addressed by the Authority through stringent regulations heralded by the new Tourism Act 2019.
Mr Elvis Gyampoh, Kpando Municipal Chief Executive, called for adequate provisions to be made within the new Act towards security at the facilities.
Mr Alex Boakye, Director, Standards and Quality Assurance, GTA, taking stakeholders through the Draft bill, said the revised Tourism Act would expand the mandate of the Authority, and reposition the industry by ensuring strict compliance with laid down regulations on facilities and their management.
The New Act demands best practices and standards in management, layout, access, services, security and sanity.
These would include strict codes for hygiene and maintenance and also records on activities, patrons and staff, whiles empowering the Tourism Authority to bring recalcitrant operators to book.