Mr. Mark OkrakuMantey, Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has launched the 2023 Kwahu Easter paragliding festival at Odweanoma mountains at Atibie in Kwahu South Municipality.
At the ceremony, he said the paragliding was a major role for domestic and international tourism for Ghana.
He said in 2022, Ghana was adjudged the number one in tourism in West Africa and said President Nana Addo DankwaAkufo-Addo's viable decision for the tourism industry contributed to the achievement.
He commended the participation of the private sectors in the tourism industry and said tourism was a marketing environment which everyone could benefit from. ' Tourism is no longer a facade, it's a big business for profit so we should all get involved. The whole country will benefit from the equity if we play the game well.'
Paragliding is an aviation sport that is enjoyed by hundreds of people around the world.
The origin of paragliding has roots in the sport of parachuting. In Ghana, paragliding was initiated by the Ministry of Tourism in April 2005 during the annual Easter Festival in Kwahu Atibie. It was organized to coincide with the Easter festivities that year on the Odweanoma Mountains, with the exception of 2009.
The paragliding festival has been organized each year. As an aviation sport, the event is patronized by both local and international tourists during the Easter season.
Mr . Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Tourism Authority said the authority was determined about the domestic tourism promotion under the Ghana Tourism Development Project which was currently being administered by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture. Especially the ' Experience Ghana, Share Ghana ' campaign.
He said the campaign was to encourage the public to travel and experience Ghana through attractions, food, clothing, music and dance.
'The public will also have the opportunity to experience Ghana with discounted tour packages and a chance to win prizes by sharing the activities they engage in through postings on all social media platforms'.
Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister said ' we cannot be talking about paragliding festival without showcasing our culture, as it is who we are as a people. The region is endeared with diverse natural resources and tourist sites.' Among them are the rivers and lakes in the Kwahu AframPlains, the Kwahu mountain ranges, Bunso canopy walk, Atiwa Forest Reserve, the Digya Forest Reserve in the AframPlains, the Oda big tree, the Boti Water Falls, and AburiBotanical Garden.
He said ' it is our hope that as we continue to celebrate our conservation and preservation of our eco- system as a people, the youth should develop much interest in saying no to poaching, galamsey, and the wanton destruction of our forest reserves. Let us take conscious steps to imbibe in importance Our of youth the the rich vegetation cover which have been handed down to us by our ancestors.' He expressed the hope that taking cognizance of the festival vitality and values would better equip the people to build a better eco-system to survive us and the generation yet to come.
There were seven pilots for the paragliding flight at this year's Kwahu Easter festival and the patronage was encouraging.
Source: Ghana News Agency