08.07.2006 Press Release

Questions raised about effectiveness of Sights and Sounds Advert in promoting Ghana

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Questions are being raised about a documentary currently airing on the International News Channel, CNN, to highlight Ghana's tourism potential. The footage, put together by Global Media Alliance, was paid for by cell phone operator, Areeba.

But some observers believe the advert does little to attract tourists and potential investors to Ghana because it lacks images that comprehensively depict the rich cultural heritage the country boasts of. An article in Wednesday's edition of the Daily Dispatch, written by veteran Journalist, Selma Valcourt, also raised critical questions about the documentary and its capacity to entice foreigners to visit the country.

But a Ghanaian working in the Democratic Republic of Congo who only identified himself as Kwasi said he is unhappy with the advert describing it as sloppy.

“If you look at the Sights and Sounds advert of Ghana on the CNN and compare it to the Sights and Sounds of Croatia, Montenegro, The Gambia, talk of that of Uganda, Tanzania. You realize that what we are putting on board is not marketing the country enough”.

“Even if you look at the beaches or the beach that we portray on the clip, you see two people in yellow T-shirts. Are these the people who patronize our beaches? Come to talk about something on the festival which is equally showed. We are talking about chiefs wiping their faces with their handkerchiefs”.

“Is that what the tourists would like to come and look at? Again, you look at the castle they showed, its empty. No one's there. Is that what they want to see”?

“Meanwhile, the Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch, Ben Ephson said the publication of the article had generated keen response.

“When we published Selma Valcourt's column that is Selma speaking, surprisingly we had quite a number of phone calls just commending Selma for what she wrote”.

“Many people felt the same way that the advert was lousy, it would have been much more interesting. Unfortunately, I have only seen it in passing of about 10 seconds just at the tail end. Those who have watched it have been very angry and Areeba has sent a reaction of which we will be using on Monday”.

“They have views that they just paid for the airtime on CNN that was to explain that they have nothing to do with it. If I can quote you and exactly what he said. The last sentence says “the content of the video I have seen on CNN was entirely discretion of the sector ministry”.

Currently Ghana has less than one per cent of Africa's five per cent of the world tourism market.

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