The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has begun promoting what it describes as the “Cocoa Ecotourism Initiative” to leverage the many cocoa farms in the country as an attraction for tourists.
The initiative which adds to the country’s mix of varied tourism offerings will give tourists the opportunity to experience the processes involved in the production of Ghana’s famous cocoa.
Speaking to VoyagesAfriq on the sidelines of the maiden African Cocoa and Chocolate Expo in Accra last Friday, Product Development and Investment Manager, at the GTA, Ben Anane-Nsiah said the idea is to also exploit the cocoa value chain some more “by creating another stream of income for cocoa farmers who have farms that are good and solid to present the cocoa story in a credible way.”
Cocoa is Ghana’s biggest cash crop and the country currently produces about 900 thousand tons, making it the world’s second-largest producer of cocoa after Ivory Coast.
“We believe that cocoa is one of the defining products for Ghana and we should incorporate it into our tourism experience so that tourists will come to Ghana, just like you got to Japan and eat Sushi.
“So you come to Ghana and one of the things you must appreciate is that Ghana’s chocolate is something you must consume; and that is enforced if you have an experience of the whole gamut of practices from planting and so on,” Anane-Nsiah said.
He added that the Cocoa Ecotourism Initiative “will give our tourists a few more things to do when they are here and you can incorporate it in tour itineraries to any destination.”
Anane-Nsiah said GTA is partnering with farms that “we think are structured and are organised enough and we are willing to support those farmers to have good tour guides trained and oriented so that they can provide the information and the interpretation.”
By: Samuel Obeng Appah