Mr Alexander Nketia, the Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), has said the reopening of tourist sites for business would depend on satisfying the safety guidelines and protocols.
“The Ghana Tourism Authority has developed standard COVID-19 protocols for all tourism enterprises including hotels, restaurants and tourist sites and what we have done at the regional level was to circulate the protocols to the various sub-sectors for compliance,” he said.
Mr Nketia, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a tree planting exercise by the Authority at Tafi Atome in the Afadjato District to mark the 2020 Emancipation Day celebration, said the Authority had already sent guidelines to tourist centres ahead of their reopening to the general public.
He said all tourist sites in the region were currently aware of all the various protocols they were expected to put in place.
Mr Nketia said the management of the various tourist centres were given time to put the protocols in place and to invite the GTA for inspection before they were allowed to open to the public.
The Director called on tourists who would be visiting the sites to strictly adhere to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
He said tourists must observe social distancing protocols and go according to directives given them at various tourism operational sites to help fight the spread of the disease in the region.
Mr Nketia said the Authority had supplied safety protocol materials such as veronica buckets, tissue papers, soaps and hand sanitizers to tourist sites in the region.
He said there would be a periodic inspection of all sites to ensure strict adherence to all safety protocols and capacity building workshops organized for tourist centre managers in the region.
The Director said the GTA had also linked tourist centres to the Ministry of Tourism and World Bank Grant Scheme to enable them to have access to funds to help develop the centres.
Mr Francis Acquaye, the Manager, Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary and Cultural Village Centre, told the GNA that the Centre had put in place precautionary measures to protect tourists.
He said the number of tourists at the Monkey Sanctuary would be reduced to ten to ensure social distancing while only tour guides would be allowed to feed the monkeys.
The Manager noted that the pandemic had affected businesses and the development in the community since the ban on tourism activities due to COVID-19.