Paragliding festival to become a major tourism event
 
Posted on: 2010-Feb-22        GNA
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Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Eastern Regional Minister, on Saturday called for a broader stakeholder support to the annual paragliding festival in order to make it a major tourism event nationwide.

He urged the Municipal and District Assemblies, chieftaincy institutions and businesses in the Kwahu Traditional Area, where the event usually takes place, therefore, to invest in the paragliding festival so as to reap the maximum economic gains from the event.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo made the call when he led the Executive Director of the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB), Mr Julius Debrah to inspect roads, security and other facilities installed at the Odwenanoma Mountain, where the paragliding festival would be held this Easter.

He observed that with support and contributions from the private sector, the festival should not only be an annual affair to be held during Easter festivities, but could also be organized during Independence Days, Republic Days as well as Christmas and New Years' days.

This according the Minister would boost Ghana's tourism sector especially when the event is the only such festival in Africa currently.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said to ensure that the event was sustained, there was the need to establish a training school to train local people to paraglide instead of always relying on foreign pilots.

Mr Walter Neser, a leading pilot and a technical advisor to the GTB and Mr Herman Havenga, also a pilot from South Africa, undertook a test flying exercise from the Odwenanoma Mountain and landed at the Nkawkaw sports stadium with a 12-year-old Junior High School girl, Esther Serwah.

Mr Ben Ohene Ayeh, Public Relations Manager of the GTB said the festival would be extended to the Osudoku and the Amedzofe mountains to enable more people to participate in it to boost tourism in other areas.

He said this year's festival would include a marathon race, adventure hike and a health walk in the Kwahu area and appealed to all Ghanaians to throng the area to participate in the festival.