Paragliding festival seeks to promote tourism
Ms Akua Sena Dansua, Minister of Tourism, on Wednesday said the Paragliding Festival, which has become part of the Kwahu Easter was meant to diversify and add value to tourism potentials and products in the Kwahu Area to maximise patronage.
She noted that a lot of interest had been generated among stakeholders in the tourism industry, and had enhanced Ghana’s image as a worthy tourism destination in the West African Sub-Region.
Ms Dansua made the observation at a press launch of this year’s National Paragliding Festival dubbed: “Kwahu 2012.”
Ms Dansua said this year's pilots for the paragliding would come from Germany, United States of America, Britain, South Africa and Brazil.
The Minister hinted that those who participated in last year’s festival had recounted stories of excitement, warmth and fun to their colleague pilots in other parts of the world.
She announced that this year’s festival would include hiking in which volunteers undertake an 89-kilometre journey in four days from Atibie to Nkyenenkyene on the Kwahu Ridge.
Ms Dansua said the Paragliding Festival would be used to promote domestic tourism, adding that statistics available at Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) on last year’s event, indicated that 72.8 per cent of visitors’ who participation were Ghanaians.
“This is indication that the event is gradually sinking into the vacation plan of Ghanaians,” she said and urged GTA to explore other exciting activities and products that were complementary to Paragliding and which would attract increasing patronage from both local and international visitors.
Ms Dansua, said the Ministry would consult other stakeholders to develop the road to Mount Odweanoma, the Paragliding site.
“Roads to identifiable and other major sites in the country will also see some improvement in the spirit of public-private partnership.”
Ms Dansua appealed to telecom companies which had their masts on top of the mountain to assist in the reconstruction of the road as part of their social responsibility to the people of Kwahu.
She asked the Kwahu business community to support the Paragliding festival.
Mr Sampson Donkoh, Deputy Chief Executive at GTA, said the festival was instituted to boost domestic tourism and encourage Ghanaians to visit the Kwahu Mountains during Easter to witness Paragliding.
Mr Ben Anane-Nsiah, Director-in-charge of events at GTA, said there would be 10 tandem pilots, meaning pilots who could fly with other passengers in addition to many others who would fly alone would attend this year’s event.
He said: “Kwahu is where you have to be this Easter,” and urged all Ghanaians to be there. **