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Accra beaches record low patronage

BY: Justice Agbenorsi & Faith Ayorkor Mensah
A scene from Laboma Beach. Picture: MAXWELL OCLOO
A scene from Laboma Beach. Picture: MAXWELL OCLOO

Beaches in Accra recorded low patronage as patrons and holidaymakers failed to troop there in their numbers to have fun and relax on the recent Eid-ul-Adha holiday.

Many of the beaches that the Daily Graphic visited last Monday had only a handful of patrons in spite of the lively activities that were organised.

Some of the beaches visited included the Laboma Beach, La Pleasure Beach, the Sakumono Beach, the Osu Afia Beach and Kokrobite.

Laboma

At the Laboma Beach, as of 11 a.m., the place was partly deserted. It was after 3 p.m. that patrons started trooping in.

Most of the patrons, who were mostly in groups, were either relaxing under tents, playing football or taking a stroll.

The Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the resort, Daniel M. K. Okpoti, in an interview with the Daily Graphic, explained that patronage was low, compared to what was witnessed on previous holidays.

He said out of the 10,000 tickets expected to be sold, only 500 had been sold at the time of the interview.

“We are managing but it is better than before because we are seeing some improvements despite the economic situation in the country,” he said.

To make the resort livelier and attract more people, the administrative officer of the facility, Jonas Nikoi, said his outfit was restructuring the beach to accommodate more families.

Labadi Beach

The story was not different at the Labadi Beach. Unlike previous holidays which witnessed long queues of people trying to enter the facility, this time around, there was no queue.

The situation also reflected in the sales recorded by vendors at the beach. A kebab vendor, who mentioned his name as Francis Asitibasi, said he had made less than GH¢50.00 since morning.

Albert Adjei Adjetey, who rents horses for patrons of the beach, also said only six people had patronised his services as of 4 p.m.

A patron, Charles Arthur, said he was at the beach to have fun with friends from the 2004 year group of Accra Academy and St Mary’s school.

Kokrobite

At the Kokrobite Beach, the Daily Graphic observed that the road network leading to Kokrobite had also become very bad, especially with the rains and floods in recent times.

Business was not booming as people moved to other beaches where access was easy.

The Manager of Big Milly's Backyard, Elikplim Krakah, told the Daily Graphic that the current economic crisis has had a significant negative impact on the business, adding that “although COVID-19 had contributed to the low patronage, inflation had exacerbated the situation and people no longer have money to visit resorts and rent rooms for vacations”.

He noted that although it was a holiday, the place was as dry as a normal weekday when people went to work.

The owner of Dizzy Lizzie's Beach Resort, Lindsay Asare, who lamented the low patronage of the resort, attributed it to inflation, bad roads and bad perception.

She explained that the hike in prices of items had led to economic hardship, which had in turn prevented a lot of people from visiting beaches.

Speaking on bad perception, she explained that Kokrobite was a peaceful community, however, because it was the most popular among the surrounding communities, whenever there were cases of robbery or kidnapping in other communities, it was Kokrobite that was attached to such incidents.

Security reasons
As such people had limited their patronage of Kokrobite beaches for security reasons.

She also explained that although swimming-related activities picked up in the evening, the restaurant and bar were not patronised as most people came along with their own food baskets for picnics.

She therefore called on the Ghana Tourism Authority to do more for the beaches in terms of advertisement and focus on bringing in international tourists as well.

A holidaymaker at the resort, Amina Hassan, said she came there with her friends to swim and have fun on the holiday.

She said they chose the resort because swimming there was free because they could not afford to pay to swim.