The Kakum National Park, Ghana’s most visited tourist site, has targeted more than 10,000 local and international tourist visits in December 2021, Daily Guide has reported.
The park hopes to double its tourists’ visitations from a steady growth of 5,639 recorded in 2020 with excellent customer flexible payment modules and upgraded reservation facilities to attract and retain tourists.
Mr. Isadore Armah, Executive Director of the Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust (GHCT), co-managers of the Kakum National Park, gave the hint in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
This year, regardless of the COVID-19 restrictions, it had seen an increase in visitations from 3,818 in January to 6,564 in June and 7,167 as at September 2021.
Additionally, the efficient national management and strict adherence to all COVID-19 safety protocols ease on international travel restrictions, pre-bookings and a host of festivities outlined by the Ghana Tourism Authority to attract and retain local and international visitors are all reasons for the success.
Mr. Armah recounted the ravaging impact of COVID-19 on their activities on the onset of the outbreak of the pandemic, which led to the cancellation of all scheduled visits largely by foreigners and the closure of the facility.
Indirectly, the closure also affected other interdependent activities, including hotels, restaurants, traders and communities and persons who derived their livelihoods from the operations of the facility.
Except for the labourers and security guards manning the forest reserve and the facility, all other employees were at home for some months last year.
On revenue, he said in 2019 realised more than GH¢3.2 million as against a sharp decline to GH¢1.76 million in 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Ghana as a destination, raked in US$3.3 billion with a total of 1.3 million tourists’ arrivals by the end of 2019, and the COVID-19 pandemic reduced the gains made by two-thirds in 2020 and depressed the tourism value chain indicators.
The impact of COVID-19 on tourism was expected to cost the global economy US$4 trillion while drastically reducing jobs and employment, domestic and foreign tourists’ receipts and revenue mobilisation for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth.
Despite that, he said changing the fortunes in the tourism sector was critical than ever before since the gains of the Travel and Tourism enterprise have been eroded by COVID-19 just within a year.
Mr. Armah is, however, very optimistic that the Travel and Tourism enterprise will bounce back in the coming years.
Located 30km north of Cape Coast, the Kakum National Park, an ecotourism paradise, offers visitors a unique walk on its magnificent Canopy Walkway, the park’s best-known feature among Kakum’s many delights.
Unique on the African continent, the Kakum Canopy Walkway allows hikers to experience a portion of the jungle usually reserved for climbers and fliers.
It has eight bridges suspended in the sky, 333-meter-long, 40 meters above the forest floor on over 300 years old tree species.
The evergreen forest is home to a variety of plant and animal species, offering visitors spectacular scenery and a fascinating wildlife experience along with modern camping facilities.
There are a variety of trails and guided walks that allow visitors to experience the solitude of the rainforest.