Ahead of this year’s Kwahu Easter and Paragliding Festival, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), has begun an intensive monitoring exercise to inspect all hostels, entertainment centers, food and beverage operating joints and their facilities in and around Kwahu in the Eastern Region.
According to the GTA, the importance is to ensure that operators in the hospitality space conform to high standards to ensure the safety of tourists and patrons as the annual Kwahu Easter and Paragliding festival returns this month after two years of absence.
So far, 6 facilities have been closed down by a team of personnel from the Ghana Police Service who have collaborated with the Ghana Tourism Authority and officers from various municipal and district assemblies in the Kwahu enclave.
The Eastern Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Frederick Adjei- Rudolph, said the GTA will ensure that no illegal operators give out their facilities to unsuspecting tourists.
“This exercise that we are conducting is very strategic. This is to ensure there that sanity prevails in the hospitality sector during the Easter festivities. You’d admit that during the Kwahu Easter festivities, those involved in the food and drinks, hotels, and entertainment are heavily patronized. Rates are quite high. The GTA is doing this to make sure that those who have not been given accreditation from the GTA do no t operate.”
“With the assistance of the Police Service, we will close down all those illegal operators. We would monitor and make sure that the rooms will be up to standard, and that it has everything that is supposed to be in the room. And also, the services provided in the facilities are up to standard, and patrons feel secure and satisfied with the services they receive in the facilities. We are going to be very firm, yet fair, in carrying out our responsibility.”
Mr. Frederick Adjei-Rudolph, who indicated that the exercises are not targeted at any facility called on operators and stakeholders to cooperate with the task force during this important free, fair, and firm enforcement exercise.
“We are not targeting any facility operator, the law mandates us to do monitoring, checks, enforcement anytime and any day we choose, and we feel this is the best time to carry out these activities. We want everyone coming for the festivities, to feel secure and satisfied. We do not want anything that would tarnish the image of GTA.”
“Furthermore, we want the people to understand and cooperate with us, as it is in the best interest of the region, the people, and the nation at large.”
The Kwahu Easter festival, which is an annual festival that has gained international recognition had to be halted for two years following the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) with the support of the Kwahu Traditional Council and a local organising committee consisting of the Kwahu West, East, and South Municipal Assemblies, launched the 2022 edition of the annual Kwahu Easter and Paragliding Festival on March 18, 2022.
Revelers were however asked to get vaccinated before embarking on the trip. About three million people are expected to visit Kwahu for this year’s Easter festival, including the President of the republic, Nana Akufo-Addo.
The Omanhene of Kwahu Pepease, Abene, Kwahu Kyedomhene Nana Ayirepe Bonsu II, while addressing the gathering at the launch, pleaded with the public to take their vaccinations as it is for their own good;
“We plead with all those who would want to visit Kwahu for the Easter festivities to go for their Covid-19 vaccines before they do so. Although I am not a medical doctor, I will advise all and sundry not to be scared of the vaccination. The total number of deaths we used to record since the pandemic came has reduced significantly because of the vaccines, so we plead with all revelers to get vaccinated first.”
The Director-General of the Ghana Health Service said COVID-19 could emerge again, and thus encouraged the public to observe the Covid-19 protocols, although the restrictions have been eased. He said these practices do not only help curb Covid-19 but our general health.
“The Covid-19 could shoot up again, so we should not totally neglect the protocol. Things like handwashing, sanitizing, go a long way to help our health by preventing germs. Yes, the restrictions have been lifted, it has become a choice to wear the nose mask, but I’d admonish that we do not ignore them completely, particularly now that mass gatherings have been opened.”