Paragliding festival back on tourism calendar
 
Posted on: 2009-Dec-11        Adom fm
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The Ghana Tourists Board (GTB) is reviving the annual Ferdinand Ayim Paragliding festival at Kwahu with an expanded program that would include a marathon and street jams next year.

The Executive Director of the GTB, Mr. Julius Debrah who disclosed this to Adom News, explained that the expanded paragliding festival next year would be preceded by a marathon race from the base of the Kwahu Mountain and it would be opened to interested participants across the country.

The climax of the festival, according to Mr. Debrah, would be street jams in the various towns and communities on the Kwahu ridge. He said the grand launch of next year’s festival would be announced by early January, 2010.

The paragliding festival was introduced by the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora relations in collaboration with the Tourism Development Board and the Kwahu South District Assembly in 2005 at Atibie.

It is held during the Easter festivities and has become an annual festival, which attracts people from all walks of life.

The festival could, however, not come off this year and this provoked conspiracy theories that the new NDC administration intends to scrap it because the event is identified with the NPP administration.

But the GTB has dismissed this suggestion. Mr. Debrah says the GTB is now partnering Adom FM to re-engineer the festival next year to give it an international appeal.

He said the new format will be targeting the large expatriate community in the West Africa sub-region. This, Mr. Debrah explained, would enhance the profile of the festival and attract the necessary foreign exchange for the country.

Mr. Debrah said the introduction of a marathon race as part of the paragliding festival would require collaboration between the GTB and the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Council of Ghana.

He paid tribute to the former Minister for Tourism, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, the late Mr. Ferdinand Ayim and the former District Chief Executive for Kwahu South, Mr. Raymond Osafo Djan, through whose initiatives the paragliding festival came into existence.

Last year's festival attracted 25 pilots from South Africa, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, United States of America, Togo and Canada.