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Where to go?

Where to go?

So those who have asked me know that it can be interrogative. Sometimes they help by stating who they are with. ‘’I want to spend time in the central business district with my 10-year-old, where do we go?’’


Over all, it’s a good sign that people are asking these questions. It shows that folks are beginning to invest in leisure tourism. Some actually make it better by telling you where they do not want to go. ‘’My teenagers are in Accra for the holidays, can you recommend a place?’’ Then they’d add, ‘’Not the Accra Mall. Lol!”

Now that gives me a good laugh. For in our part of the world, the New Mall culture in itself has become an attraction for many. So during festive occasions the shopping centres are crowded with mostly youngsters who wish to feel trendy and be a part of a movement. But much to the chagrin of store owners, they don’t get to buy much. They can’t even window-shop as the potential to buy does not even exist.

Then there is the traffic dimension. Drivers and other road users complain bitterly when they are using access links that connect to the malls. Can’t blame them. Accra Mall, located at Tetteh Quarshie Roundabout, has taken the most siege from this situation. The introduction of the Junction, Achimota and West Hills malls a couple of years ago has eased the pressure. Or has it?

When people ask where to go because the options are varied and equally attractive, that’s challenging for a travel writer. But when they ask ‘’where I go’’ because they’ve seen all there is in town, that can be depressing. The trooping of non-shoppers to malls during holiday seasons shows how limited our leisure offerings are. I’m limiting this discourse to Accra, which goes to show that in the other regions things might be worse.

Our usual hangouts are the drinking spots, the beaches and very limited cinema. Music and church events, thus, fill in. In addition, only very few plan to leave the city into the regions for tourism. When they leave, then it’s for family and friend visits, what is known in tourism as VFR.

The question related to where to go also comes about because information about the recreational centres is scarce. Though tourist attractions within Accra are limited, accurate and sufficient information concerning them could be helpful.

So which is the latest leisure park? Which attraction opens and which doesn’t during the holidays? How much does that annual event cost? Which of these places is suitable for children? What events are for the burghers and bourgeoisie and which are for the average guy?

The above are questions that demand answers which drive local tourism. The availability of info material on these issues alone is enough to motivate someone to engage in tourism. Since this column started six years ago, we have tried to provide some of these answers nationally. We shall continue to do our best in enlightening Ghanaians about their leisure options.

‘’Where do I go to?’’ For those of you who might encounter this question, please don’t throw up your hands in the air. The answer depends on a couple of factors. First of all, what is the interest area of the one seeking to travel or engage in leisure? Knowing what tickles or excites them helps in choosing the site or event which would suit them.

Next is who they are with. Are they travelling alone? Are they going in a group? If it’s a group, what kind of people form the group? Students, traders or foreigners?

There is also the question of time. How long does the person intend to stay at where they are going? Or how long can they engage in that activity? That helps to decide what options to suggest. For instance, if you only have three hours to spare, you can’t drive all the way from Pokuase to Shai Hills to watch monkeys.

How much does the person have to spend?

Finance is very crucial in determining leisure decisions. Knowing the cost involved not only in getting to a place but in related activities helps shape decisions. There are places that are just a no-go if you don’t have a certain budget. However, there are also places one can go and live like a prince or a diva.

So the question is, ‘’Where do you want to go?’’

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