Stakeholders deliberate on sea defence project, loss of beaches

BY: Shirley Asiedu-Addo & Edith Mensah
File photo
File photo

Stakeholders in the tourism industry have called for conscious efforts at maximising the use of the country's beaches to promote tourism in spite of rising sea levels and the construction of sea defences.

They observed that the construction of sea defence structures along the beach while protecting the shores, these must be designed with the promotion of tourism in mind.

They participants including assemblymen and fishermen also called for more stringent measures towards checking sand winning, open defecation and other negative environmental practices that negatively affect the beaches.

These came up at a stakeholder engagement on the model beaches project being undertaken by the Ghana Tourism Authority and Ghana Cares (Obantanpa) project under the work theme, 'Safe the Beaches.'

Under the project, four model beaches at coastal communities, including Elmina, Axim Sakumono and Labadi would be established.

The Facilitator of the workshop, Mr Malcolm Frazier Appeadu, said it was time to build the beaches into tourism facilities worthy of raking in more revenue for the country.

He said it was expected that many more local and international tourists would be attracted to the beaches to increasing tourism earnings.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, Mr Solomon Ebo Appiah, indicated that the municipality would enforce strict by-laws to counter negative environmental practices along the beaches.

In another development, the GTA has started a training programme for stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism business in the Central Region.

The training programme is part of the government's 'Ghana Cares (Obaatanpa) effort, would educate players in the industry on industry best sector skills revitalisation, address the low quality of tourism assets, enhance marketing and branding of tourism facilities, and digital marketing.

About 10,000 persons in the sector are expected to undergo the training nationwide.

The Central Regional Director of GTA, Mr Kwame Gyasi, stated that the training programme was vital because players in the industry required new skills and knowledge to ensure that quality service delivery and regulations were followed in the industry.

He stated that the Central Region, in particular, needed to step up its efforts in  promoting the industry and that the training was essential in doing so.

"We are not able to sell the Region because most persons have very little capacity on what they do in terms of packaging and branding," he noted. 

"You may reach a global audience with digital marketing tactics that are cost-effective and quantifiable," He said.

In an interview, some of the attendees urged stakeholders to make the training a regular event to help them develop their capacity.

They said  holding the meeting on a regular basis would improve their capacity and talents to enable them  carry out their mandate effectively.

A participant, Ms Deborah Nyame said "we will be able to take advantage of that opportunity to enhance our talents if the training is done at least once a year."