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26.11.2003 Travel & Tourism

Hotelier proposes Tourism Dev't Company for Volta Region

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Ho, Nov. 26, GNA - Dr Bernard Glover, Managing Director of Hotel Cisneros at Sogakope on Tuesday recommended the formation of a Volta Region Tourism Development Company Limited (VRTDCL) as part of strategies to spearhead a more aggressive and businesslike approach to the sector's growth in the region.

He was delivering a paper on the tourism potentials of the region and the way forward, at a three-day Volta Regional Investment Conference at Ho under the theme: "Toward The Economic Development Of the Volta Region."

The conference was under the auspices of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and President's Special Initiative (PSI) and the Volta Regional Co-ordinating Council (VRCC).

Dr Glover said the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) could have some shares in the company alongside financial institutions in and outside the region, as well as the District Assemblies, Rural Banks, Hotels and other identifiable business groups in the region.

He said after building a solid capital base, the proposed Company should zone major tourist attractions in the region for between two to five years in accordance with its own priority assessments and the "UNDP programme."

Dr Glover said the ground would then have been prepared to invite investors to either join and buy shares or take over such projects and effect modifications as they wished.

He said this would require attractive and aggressive marketing strategies by the Company to sell the region to the rest of the world by taking advantage of Information Communication Technology and the media both local and international.

Dr Glover, a former Executive Director of the GTB, said the proposed company could take the initiative to solve problems related to land acquisition and compensation and use it as equity in subsequent transactions.

He said prospective investors should be allowed to undertake to provide their own infrastructure such as power, so that reimbursement could be worked out in the form of direct deductions from rates payable.

Dr Glover said an "all-out travel agency should be developed to attract, convey and distribute tourists throughout the region".

"Training of tour guides, catering and restaurant staff must be addressed as a priority", as success or failure in the industry depends on the quality of service envisaged, he said.

Dr Glover, who detailed out the diverse tourist attractions in the region from Keta on the Coast to Kete-Krachi in the north, said the Volta Region was a "microcosm" of the country's diverse tourism potentials and a one-stop tourism spot for tourists who would want to sample the tourism beauty of the country without having to travel the length and breadth of the country.

"It is no fantasy, fiction nor propaganda to describe the Volta Region as a microcosm of tourism in Ghana. If you want to see all Ghana, then come to the Volta Region, the goldmine, which is waiting to be developed." Dr Glover said the government was incapable of developing such attractions and therefore tasked the private sector to take up the challenge.

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