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Countdown to Kwahu Easter celebration: Ghana Tourism Authority closes 6 hospitality facilities

BY: Pacome Emmanuel Damalie
Frederick Adjei-Rudolph (middle), GTA Eastern Regional Director, interacting with Asamoah Addo (left), Manager of Dadi's Motel and Pub, as Rexford Ameyaw (right), Accountant of GTA, Eastern Regional Office, looks on
Frederick Adjei-Rudolph (middle), GTA Eastern Regional Director, interacting with Asamoah Addo (left), Manager of Dadi's Motel and Pub, as Rexford Ameyaw (right), Accountant of GTA, Eastern Regional Office, looks on

Preparation for this year's Kwahu Easter has begun with authorities of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) inspecting hospitality facilities to eliminate illegal operators and substandard facilities preparing to cater for guests during the festivities.

Following the inspection and monitoring exercise in collaboration with the Nkawkaw Divisional Police, six out of seven inspected facilities were closed down last Thursday for operating without licence.

The facilities failed to meet the requirements provided under Legislative Instruments (L.I.) 2238 and 2239 (Tourism Regulations, 2016) which are, "Registration and Licensing of Food, Beverage and Entertainment Enterprise" and "Registration and Licensing of Tourist Accommodation" respectively.

The affected facilities were, Debrah Guest House, Elsie Hotel, Cosmos Memorial Hotel and Daddy's Motel and Pub, all located at Nkawkaw in the Kwahu West municipality.

Other facilities that were closed due to their substandard nature also include; Star Gate Hotel and Flor-J Guest House located at Nteso and Obomeng respectively in the Kwahu South municipality.

Monitoring

The GTA Eastern Regional Director, Frederick Adjei-Rudolph, in an interview with the Daily Graphic indicated that 17 other facilities within the Kwahu enclave were earmarked for monitoring as they did not qualify for the 2022 operational licence during the annual inspection conducted last year.

He said although the facilities did not meet the minimum acceptable standards for licensing, they would be granted licence once the necessary defects identified by the GTA last year were rectified, adding that failure to do that will have them closed down.

The facilities include, Royal Hill Hotel, Top Way Hotel, Asase Aban Hotel, Masada Hotel, Agya Ampadu Guest House, Hotel De-ship, Rosemma Guest House, Dubai City Hotel and D. Kyeremateng Guest House.

The rest are House of David Hotel, Omari Serwaa Hotel, Okwahu Royal Hotel, Osafo Kantanka Motel (Main), Osafo Kantanka Motel (Annex1), Osafo Kantanka Motel (Annex 2), Obroni Ba Guest House and Loop Hills Hotel.

Good reputation

Mr Adjei-Rudolph indicated that it was important that the festivity maintained a good reputation, and delivered the best of services in every aspect, including accommodation of guests; hence, the need to weed out unqualified facilities before the commencement of the celebrations.

"The accommodation and food and beverage providers are undoubtedly the most patronised service providers during this event. In order to ensure sanity, quality service delivery and regulatory compliance by service providers in these areas, the Ghana Tourism Authority in the Eastern Region in collaboration with the Nkawkaw Command of the Ghana Police Service embarked on a consistent enforcement and monitoring exercise of all hospitality facilities in the Kwahu enclave from today to Monday, April 18, 2022.

"The exercise will be very robust, effective, fair and firm. The authority will sustain the monitoring aspect of the exercise before and during the entire Easter festivities. The authority’s regulatory mandate will be fully and strictly observed without any fear or favour by authorised and identified officers to ensure that the thousands of revellers that will be visiting Kwahu during this Easter festival are not short changed when it comes to accommodation and food and beverage services," he said.

He added that as part of the monitoring, licensed facilities would also be visited to make sure they provide value for money services to revellers who would be spending their Easter at Kwahu, as most facilities see their prices increased during the festive period.

"Officers of the authority will visit these facilities to ensure that they are complying with all safety, health, quality service delivery and facility requirements as stipulated by law and consistent with their respective classifications.

“Prices of hotel accommodation in Kwahu during the Easter festival as we all know shoots up to the sky. The least the authority can do is to ensure that patrons who will be paying these high rates are offered value for money, in terms of the quality of service delivery and the quality of facilities," he said.

Mr Adjei-Rudolph, entreated all revellers coming to Kwahu this Easter to be very vigilant in their choice of accommodation; stating that, "it will be in their own interest to patronise only the facilities that are duly licensed by the Ghana Tourism Authority."

Background, observation

The popular Kwahu Easter festivity has been the most talked about event during every Easter season and always attracts millions of people, both locally and internationally.

Due to the presence of the Odweanoma paragliding site on the Kwahu Ridge, the festival attracts mammoth crowds who also want to have an experience of flying in the air.

However, the festival was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Momentum is gathering with Kwahu citizens preparing to welcome and entertain the crowd as the festivities resume this year, hoping to spend their Easter holidays on the Kwahu Ridge.

Observations made by the Daily Graphic during the inspection revealed that most of the closed facilities had no operational licence, with others operating with expired licence. These facilities also lack proper water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities. At one of the facilities known as Elsie Hotel, a mattress lay on the bare floor.

Keys to the closed facilities were handed over to the police and various supervisors and managers at post during the exercise made to sign an undertaking. Patrons at the time of the exercise were asked to vacate the facility by the evening to allow the officers close down their various rooms.