Written By Nkrabeah Effah-Dartey .
I remember so well one day at lunch time in the Dining Hall in Achimota School, one senior, a staunch member of the Scripture Union, told me: “Effah, there is a prophecy that Ghana’s economic problems shall be resolved through TOURISM.”
That was the very first time that I became seriously associated with that field: TOURISM.
Reader, what is TOURISM?
“Tourism” is a derivative of the word “TOUR”, which variously means “sightseeing” adventure” “excursion” and several others.
But, how can “sightseeing” simplicitor be the panacea to our economic woes? I don’t understand.
Years later, at a programme at the National Theatre, Owuraku Amofa, then Provisional national Defence Council (PNDC) Secretary for Tourism, told us, the audience, that TOURISM was the second largest foreign exchange earner the previous year.
You mean in spite of gold export, cocoa, and others, TOURISM is the second largest foreign exchange earner?
Reader, sit down, relax; let us take a very serious look at this issue: TOURISM.
The whole idea of TOURISM is predicated upon the basic principle that EVERY HUMAN BEING wants to MOVE from his house, either to work, or to have fun.
The meaning of “WORK” can be stretched to include attending funerals, going to choir practice, going to church and other engagements. As for FUN, need I say – anything related to being with your lover, eating, drinking, dancing…
In your bedroom, in your living room, you may have the latest entertainment gadgets, but even so, you will want to go out, “to have fun”.
And this is where TOURISM comes in – restaurants, theatres, cinema halls, which all have one stop shop called HOTELS.
In Nairobi, Kenya, they have a small city center, the size of the whole of Black Star Square, with over TEN giant first class hotels – 680 Hotel, Inter-Continental, Hotel Ambassador…wow!!
In Egypt, especially CAIRO – reader – hotels, hotels, hotels… and you see, as for hotels, they rise and fall depending on MANAGEMENT.
While growing up in the streets of Accra as a young Army Officer, and later a young lawyer, I saw Star Hotel, Ambassador Hotel, Continental Hotel…then we heard of NOVOTEL, then came LABADI BEACH HOTEL, then we heard of LA PALM BEACH HOTEL… reader, then we heard of HOLIDAY INN, ei! Hold on, MOVENPICK AMBASSADOR!! And now, the ultimate, KEMPINSKI HOTEL
Reader, I am sorry. If you don’t have money, if life is hard for you say I DON’T HAVE MONEY, don’t say WE DON’T HAVE MONEY.
All the hotels I have mentioned – go there ANY EVENING and see – you will think there is no poverty in Ghana. The other day, I met a client for a business meeting at Kempinski and ordered for water – they brought some foreign water, the bill – 20 cedis for water …! Nobody asked you to come there – if you don’t have money, find your level somewhere!
And so when I heard that a new tourism joint called HIGH STAR HOTEL, Accra West (Kasoa), has opened its doors for business, I strolled there last Friday Farmers Day to see what it is all about.
I met their Chief Executive, Gloria Yartey, who told me her unit operates with 20 rooms, and they have facilities for restaurants, conferences and general entertainment.
She told me they have a live band on Fridays, Saturdays for theatre shows, and Sundays for cultural groups. Since it was a Friday, a live band – FIRST CLASS – was in high glee.
And, guess who was the MC – the super star, one and only AFIA SCHWARZENGGER aka Valentine Agyeiwaa!!!1
A business mogul, Charles Anyarko, seated by me, quibbled: “Captain, this MC – she is just a happy woman…” you don’t know whether to laugh or be angry with her, as in her extremely light captivating costume, shaking her proportimate torso with reckless abandon… says: “Kennedy Agyepong wo ne master”, “if you take somebody’s wife, another man will take your wife…
At long last, Accra West, stretching from Weija, Kasoa, West Hills, Bortianor… they have a joint to hang out every Friday night, to hear withy remarks by Afia Schwarzenegger…
“Oh! I almost forgot. The CEO of the Hotel, Gloria Yartey, told me they will be hosting a Carol Service on 22nd December to herald an exciting Christmas package, including Nigerian Night – 29th December 2019.
Welcome, High Star Hotel, Accra West.