The Upper West regional office of the Ghana Tourism Authority has indefinitely suspended the 2019 Upper West Regional Tourism awards scheme, which was scheduled for Friday 27th March, 2020. This has become necessary due to the COVID-19 scare.
This information was contained in a press statement issued by the Authority on 17th March, 2020; “we hereby announce the suspension of the 2019 Upper West Regional Tourism Awards”.
According to the statement, the decision is in accordance with the President’s directive to “suspend all public gatherings for the next four weeks”. The statement further reiterated the need for industry players to adhere to safety guidelines and precautions to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
The tourism awards scheme was initiated in 1997, by the Ghana tourism Board (Authority) to award hardworking and deserving industry players who excelled in their various fields.
The statement is however optimistic of a bigger and better event as soon as the situation normalizes and the ban on public gathering lifted.
The Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Moses Ndwin Ndebugri also stated that his office has already initiated a project to sensitize players of the tourism industry on the prevention of the COVIDD-19. “We have held sensitization programmes with managers of some major tourist sites, hotels, Tour guides, Catering service providers on the prescribed safety precautionary methods including: social distancing, personal hygiene and profiling of visitors”. The authority has also started a monitoring process to ensure service provider observe to these safety measures.
The Corona scare has compelled many tourist attractions in the country including Kakum national park, Menhyia palace, Castles and Forts under Ghana Museums and Monuments to temporarily close their facilities to the public. In the Upper West Region, tourist attractions are recording low or no patronage since the first case was reported in the country. AT the Wechiau Hippo sanctuary for example, clients have cancelled all reservations to the site. The site which is the most patronized in the region has received only one (domestic) tourist over the said period; management said.
Our checks at some tourist facilities revealed that, operators are adhering to the directives from the GTA.