Tourism, although not the most popular in terms of sectors that drive Ghana’s economy, it contributes something substantial that cannot be overlooked.
Indeed, the sector has the potential to make a greater impact on the economy, with the right focus, support and investment.
Aside from the poor road network to some tourist sites and hospitality facilities, there are also untapped tourism potentials nationwide, and one of such is the Tano Sacred Grove located in the Bono Region.
In 2018, tourism contributed about 5.5 % to the country’s GDP, which is the total value of all goods and services in the country.
The organization of events like the Year of Return by government through institutions like the Ghana Tourism Authority, were part of efforts to boost the gains in the sector.
In all these, there is a seeming gap in the support given to tourist sites to make them attractive to people.
The Tano Sacred Grove at Tanoboase in the Techiman North District, is just about ten minutes’ drive from the Regional capital, Techiman.
The Grove, a Community Based-Ecotourism Project was established in 1996. With the help of the Ghana Association for the Conservation of Nature, the Tanoboase community started the development of the Grove as an eco-tourism site.
Prince Osei Manu, a tour guide at the facility spoke to Citi News about the history of the tourist centre.
“This is the first place the Bono people settled before moving to other parts of the region. Four people namely; Afia Ankomah, Amoah Sanka, Nana Kokotipo and Takyi Firi discovered the place.”
The Grove houses an impressive rock formation good for hiking and viewing. It takes approximately 25 to 30 minutes to completely explore the Grove.
Despite its potential to attract more tourists, very little is known about the Tano Sacred Grove.
Prince Osei Manu explains what may have accounted for this.
“We are facing a lot of challenges, one of key things is that the advertisement of the place has gone down, and this is affecting patronage. “I am talking to investors both in Ghana and outside to come on board to support in monetary and through advertisement so that people would know that we have a nice place and our doors are open.”
Meanwhile, Citi News understands that the Tanoboase Traditional Council is supporting the Development of the site.
The Gyaasehene of Tanoboase, Nana Amoah Gyamiri in an interview with Citi News said they are doing their best to promote the site.
“The Tanoboase Traditional Council is helping to curb hunting at the place. There are many bats there, so we have employed the youth to watch over the area. As we speak, we have handed over a gun to the Police, which we retrieved from someone who went there to hunt and left it. We deal with people who go there to fetch for firewood.”
The Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority for the Bono Region, Joseph Appiagyei, is anticipating a swift response following the submission of a request for support to relevant authorities.
Mr. Appiagyei said in 2017, he presented a pictorial document and a write up on the Tano Sacred Grove to management for consideration.