Having a continuous contact with the natural environment and fully appreciating its existence goes a long way to magnificently shape our lives as humans. We cannot achieve full happiness if we fail to integrate recreational activities into our life patterns. This is because, our bodies sometimes experience burnout, stress and stormy condition, which require a deliberate amount of relaxation, comfort, ample time and sweet harmony with nature.
The Tourism Industry of Ghana has contributed massively towards the advancement of the country's macroeconomic framework, as well as broadening our horizon with regards to the natural environment. One of the pillars of Ghana's Tourism Industry is Studatour Limited. This company envisions to be the model tour company that bridges cultures and attracts all persons to experience the beauty and serenity of God's creatures. IMAGO, one of the products of the company - aims at educating, informing and entertaining the youth; both students and the working class. More significantly, this year's tour has broadened the scope of most Ghanaians historical myriad with regards to key unknown serene and attractive sites in the Brong-Ahafo Region. Students who joined the trip met varied categories of people who also shared their experiences and cultural resources in their respective localities. Every natural resource was created for a purpose, therefore, the tourists got to fully understand the rationale behind the positioning of different creatures in different places of origin. It enables people to develop a multicultural lens to move beyond their cultural tunnel and take a comprehensive action to acknowledge, appreciate and fully invest in other people's cultural resources, for sustainable development. Again, the entrance fees paid by the tourists will go a long way to shape the revenue base of the visited tourists to enable them to put in place better reservation and conducive atmosphere to effectively accommodate both local and international tourists. Some of the tourists also got interested in the tourism industry envisage to invest massively in it in the near future.
The students of Tourism in KNUST who joined the trip also identified key challenges at the sites and are diligently working on it with their lecturers and faculty members to help resolve them in order to uplift the flags of Ghana's Tourism Industry. Others have also taken a bold step to embark on their research in the district the tour took place.
Dramatically, some of the inhabitants of these communities are apathetic and lackadaisical about the essence and significance of tourism to community development. Even though some of the facilities need renovation, they mostly want to always rely on the government for support and assistance. In view of this, IMAGO seeks to create a forum where all community members will be fully enlightened and educated on the need to be community patriots and nation builders to help advance the tourism industry. A strong grass-root social capital will go along way to shape local tourism revenue and resource base, and also project a better image for more investment gains.
The first place the tourists visited was the Boabeng - Fiema Monkey Sanctuary, in the Nkoranza District. A maximum of two hours was spent there and then proceeded to Bono - Manso Slave Trade Centre - where the tourists visited the Martin Luther Jnr. Monument. This was built to mark the emancipation of Africans from the Slave Trade. It is also believed that Martin Luther Jnr. hails from that part of the country. The team continued to the Baobab Tree - a place where the slaves were first chained before sending them to Cape Coast for transportation overseas. After spending almost two hours there, the team then moved to the Fuller Falls. No Tour Guide was met at this place, however, one of the indigenes - who was part of the organizers, briefed the tourists on the history of the place. Enjoyment of the coldness of the water from the Falls was greatly experienced, pictures were taken, but no swimming took place because of the depth of the base of the Fall.
The Studatour Team recommends that there must be a reduction in the entrance fee at Kintampo Water Fall to make it accessible to all. Also, reception and washroom facilities should be made available at the Fuller Falls, to enable the visitors feel more comfortable and welcomed. Studatour seeks to collaborate and partner with the District Assembly to inject part of its resources to realize this vision. Moreover, there is no tour guide at this site. Studatour therefore, calls on the Ghana Tourism Industry to deploy a tour guide to this site in order to ensure better service delivery and efficiency at the site. Personnel must also be deployed to Bono Manso site because they do not have any management team to take in charge of the place, especially a secretary. Finally, the roads of Fiema Monkey Sanctuary and Fuller Falls must be well constructed or tarred to enable the tourists to easily ply them.
There was an advancement in this year's level of patronage. A total of 23 people patronized this year's trip, as against 16 in 2018. Moreover, the team was able to visit all the four (4) sites, envisaged to tour in a day. The challenge was that the participants could not receive their breakfast package as promised. Also, lunch was served late.
The entire executive body of Studatour Ltd (IMAGO) expresses their profound gratitude to the Almighty God for the traveling mercies, guidance, and protection. A special heartfelt appreciation to the wonderful participants of IMAGO 2019 - for choosing Studatour and deciding to be part f this year's trip. We also thank our partners: Mike Bill Ventures; Focus Fm and HyperCitiGh for their support. We finally thank everyone who supported one way or the other for making this year's trip remarkable and memorable.
CEO - Studatour Ltd
Editor: Theophilus Quaicoe.