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22.01.2007 General News

British Tourists Visit Western, Central Regions

By Daily Graphic
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Seven hundred and thirty five British tourists from Southampton in London docked at the Takoradi Port on last week Tuesday for a day's tour of places of interest in the Western and Central regions.

The tourists, who were on Around Africa Tour aboard the Black Watch vessel operated by Fred Olsen Cruises, left Southampton on January 5 this year and arrived at Takoradi Port in the early hours of Tuesday.

They were taken to Kakum National Park, various forts and castles in the two regions and also had a tour of Takoradi during which they visited the Takoradi central market.

The tourists, who were so excited, described Ghanaians as friendly and warm people, adding, “we are overwhelmed by their hospitality and we will not miss the next opportunity to come back to Ghana”.

The tour, which was made possible by Sunseekers Tours, a private tour operators in the country with the aim of packaging the country's tourist potential well for the international tourism market.

The Chief Executive Officer of Sunseekers, Mr Kwame Ansong, called on leaders of countries within the West African sub-region to embark on targeted marketing to harness the potential of countries along the west coast of Africa.

He said the level of excitement and willingness of tourists to stay longer than they anticipated should be measured so that that could prompt the countries to plan what to do to improve tourism.

He said facilities such as hotel accommodation were not adequate in Takoradi for the 735 tourists to make their stay comfortable had they decided to stay a day or two, and sadly said that “we therefore have to helplessly watch them move on”.

“The hotel accommodation in Takoradi would not be enough for the people if they decided to sleep and continue their exploration of the regions,” he said

Mr Ansong said the country had a lot to offer in terms of tourism and even though tourism demand was increasing at a faster rate there was no corresponding increase in the facilities to meet the demand.

He said there were many countries interested in contracting the Fred Olsen Cruises to include them in their world tour but they chose Ghana.

“Therefore if other countries along the cost could develop and market their countries, the ship could have moved from Ghana to Togo, Nigeria, or elsewhere along the west coast, but sadly, from Ghana the ship is moving to Sao Tome, Namibia and then to South Africa,” he said.

Story By Moses Dotsey Aklorbortu, Takoradi