Source: GNA - The Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust (GHCT), a Non-Profit, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), has in the past two years spent more than 77,000 Ghana Cedis on the restoration of the Cape Coast and Elmina Castles.
It had in addition, extended the canopy walkway at the Kakum National Park, and constructed a visitors' centre there.
Mr Ebenezer Collins Bordoh, Acting Director of the Central Region office of the Ghana Museums and Monuments Board, made this known when journalists toured the Cape Coast Castle and the Kakum National Park on Tuesday.
The tour organized by the GHCT formed part of activities to herald its 20th anniversary celebration, and to strengthen its relationship with the media, as well as highlight the tourism sites in the Central Region, particularly in Cape Coast and its environs.
Mr Bordoh commended the Trust for its regular support, without it, he said, the castles would have been in a very bad shape.
He described as "woefully inadequate" the retention of only two percent of its internally generated funds, and appealed for its upwards review, to help lessen the numerous challenges facing the tourist institutions.
On visitations, Mr Bordoh said the numbers increased greatly after the visit of President Barack Obama in 2007, and that in 2012 a total of 109,000 people visited the castle.
He, however, regretted that with the outbreak of Ebola in the West African sub-region, the figure dropped to 87,000 in 2013 and 62,000 last year, thereby, resulting in low revenue.
He expressed optimism that the situation would soon change.
He mentioned inadequate funds, invasion of parts of the castle premises by fisher folks, and the destruction of doors and other wooden structures of the facility by termites, as some of the problems facing the castle, and urged other stakeholders to come to their aid.
At the Kakum National Park, Mr Enoch Amasa Ashie, Park Manager, commended GHCT for the regular assistance for the maintenance of the Canopy walkway over the past 20 years.
He also bemoaned the lack of funds to develop and maintain tourists sites, and indicated that the tourism industry could earn the country huge revenues to drive its economy, and therefore called for conscious efforts to revamp the industry.
Touching on the safety of the Canopy walkway, Mr Ashie assured the public that the facility was safe, since there were qualified staff who maintained it on daily basis.
He was, however, unhappy about the bad nature of the road leading to the park, and urged the government to, as a matter urgency, rehabilitate it to attract more tourists.
The Kakum National Park, a unique tourist site, established in 1995, is endowed with the famous canopy walkway, an exhibition centre, tree houses, and camp sites, 300 species of birds, 100 mammals, reptiles and amphibian species and 600 butterfly species.
Mr Francis Dontoh Cobbinah, Executive Director of the Trust, said the tour was to orientate the media on the process of repositioning the Central Region and Cape Coast as the number one tourism destination in the country.
He said it was also to get the media to know more about the GHCT and its operations, and urged the media in the region to help with the promotion of tourism in the region.
The GHCT, registered as a charitable organization in Ghana and the United States of America, with the main objective to sustain the gains of the National Resources Conservation Heritage Projects (NRCHP).
The Trust also researches and disseminates information on monuments and parks, as well as enhances the quality of life in communities in their catchment areas, through the building of schools, ICT and livelihood training centres, in addition to the training of community tour guides.
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