MONKEY BUSINESS IN TAFI-ATOME

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How it begun

About 200 years ago when the people Tafi Atome migrated to their current area they carried with them their deity which revolved around the tortoise and the monkey. The monkeys are considered gods and are revered by the local community and protected by tradition.

In the 1990’s the USAID, Peace Corps, SNV and the then Ghana Tourist Board got involved with ecotourism. This spread across 14 tourism attractions which included Tafi Atome. Since that time Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary has become one of the top destinations in terms of revenue and community management.

The experience

Imagine you hold a banana in your hand and before you say Jack a monkey appears from nowhere and snatches it away! That is not all. The little naughty guy climbs up a tree, carefully unwraps the loot, makes eyes at you and teasingly eats your banana. This is the game that awaits you when you visit the Tafi Atome Monkey Sanctuary. Tafi Atome is located in the Volta region not far from Hohoe. In 1993 the land around the village of Tafi Atome was set aside as a sanctuary for the Mona Monkey population that lived in the forest that are seen as sacred.

The Community-based attraction

Today, community-based ecotourism is helping to return the village to its roots with a unique business model that blends environmental conservation with community development and cross-cultural exchange. As a result of the efforts to protect their forest and monkeys, tourist interest has also increased. The playful monkeys are wild but often come down very close to visitors. Indeed, one of the wonderful things of this sanctuary is how close up you get to the monkeys. In addition the forest has many species of birds and butterflies, which have been preserved.
A plus for Tafi is that it is located in the mid-Volta tourism circuit which includes Afadjato, Liati-Wote, Amedzofe and Wli Waterfall which is less than an hour’s drive away.

Finding your way

The monkey sanctuary lies about 2 km from the main road but it is easy to reach even if you are traveling by public transport because there are taxis and motorbikes waiting at the junction to give a ride to tourists. Having arrived in town the night before, I woke up to a village atmosphere of bird songs and goodwill greetings from everyone. Immediately, I set off towards my monkey business. At the visitor centre my guide promptly joins me. We were ready to start the tour.

But first I was sent to buy bananas from a local seller. I could see local food being prepared and other folks starting their daily activities. Tafi Atome is a small idyllic village. One can arrange for an evening of entertainment including drumming, dancing or story telling around a bonfire.

The impact
Revenue from tourism has brought electricity to this village. The profits from tourists have been used to build a junior high school, guest house, clinic, street lights and toilet facilities for the community and schools. The villagers I talked to are happy with the visitors to the sanctuary, because it creates jobs for them.

Banana weapon
This village is definitely worth a visit, beyond the monkeys there is very little hassle in the village and you can take photographs and walk around at ease. Armed with bananas my tour guide and I entered the forest with the hope to see the monkeys. One way these monkeys differ from the ones at Boabeng Fiema is by the white ring of colouring around their waists. The species here are Monas and Patas. A special feature is that there is a monkey cemetery exclusively for the animals when they die.

The trails & war
It appeared as if we were walking down a path to the middle of nowhere. The sanctuary has great trails to walk along. We walk through the beautifully green rainforest. Suddenly my guide started making prolonged, kissing noises. Then there they were! Emerging from the forest and sitting on the trees above us where dozens of monkeys. You have heard that monkeys play by sizes. It is true. And here, they also move in family groups. It was ‘Commando’ the troop leader who made the first advance. Before I knew what to do with the banana this senior monkey took it away from me and vanished.

Your winning strategy
I now understood why the tour guide was making me hold half a banana to feed the monkeys. The trick here is not to hold the fruits full length. Be sure to hold on tight for them to eat it, otherwise they’ll pull hard and run up the tree to hoard it to themselves. Another fun is that these guys were not afraid to steal banana bits from other monkeys as well!

By: KOFI AKPABLI (Travel Writer)

[email protected]

Click for more about Tafi Atome – photos & videos 

GTA Trains Frontline Staff In Customer Service and Marketing

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The Ghana Tourism Authority has organised a 3-day training programme for its Frontline staff to sharpen their skills.

The training programme was held at the Accra Tourist Information Centre (ATIC) from 20th – 22nd November, 2018.

  

The Training Programme also serves as a refresher course for staff of GTA to enrich their knowledge and skills in order to better market Ghana.

  

Industry Experts like Kwabena Agyekum from CIM-Ghana, Isaac Adupong of Lead it Africa, Kwakye Donkor of Africa Tourism Partners and Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of GTA took taking staff through topics like; Marketing in Action
Tourism Marketing and Promotion, as well Event Planning and Management.

  

This training is in line with the new Board of Directors vision of equipping staff with needed skills to promote Ghana as a preferred tourism destination.

Accra clinches M.I.C.E. City of the Year award

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Ghana’s tourism was given another positive boost when the city of Accra was named the ‘M.I.C.E City of the Year’ at the “M.I.C.E Awards West Africa” awards during the 6th Abuja Jabamah, a B2B – Business to Business – travel and tourism trade conference hosted at the Exhibition Hall of the International Conference Center in Abuja last Friday.

An acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions – M.I.C.E – is an industry term for business tourism, and while focusing on this aspect of tourism does not reinvent the hospitality sector, it brings new thinking and packaging opportunities to boost stakeholder engagement in the tourism ambit.

In Abuja to receive the award was PaJohn Bentsifi Dadson, director of the recently launched Ghana Tourism Authority travel media and consumer advisory unit to service vacationers and meeting planners, the Ghana National Convention and Visitors Bureau (GNCVB).

Kaya Tours, a Ghanaian company, was also named MICE Company of the Year.

Expressing his delight on the recognition accorded the city, Mr Dadson added that the aspiration for the development of M.I.C.E was “to build a West Africa wide experience for future event delegates, such that we can input into the itineraries of conference participants in one country, cultural immersions across the sub-region to making it a destination of choice.”

According to the global experts in association meetings, ICCA, Accra Ghana is the only city in the Top 10 in Africa, ranked number 9 in Africa, with Abidjan and Dakar following at 13 and 14 respectively. Johannesburg, South Africa and Kigali, Rwanda are ranked earlier, and with the successes witnessed by Rwanda, it is possible to leapfrog ones tourism position using the MICE vehicle. West Africa is yet to catch up.

Accra’s popularity is owing to the country’s stability,  and currently focused on establishing the Bureau as one of the strongest destination support services in Africa, Mr Dadson has the mandate to set up the GNCVB as a one-stop solution for information, guidance and assistance and also market the country abroad to attract more group tourism business.

Other winners at the event, which also named the Top 100 Tourism Personalities in Nigeria, included Lagos State which won two awards, the M.I.C.E. City of the Year in Nigeria and the M.I.C.E. Most Active Tourism State in Nigeria. Rivers State and Plateau tied-up with Lagos State as the M.I.C.E. Most Active Tourism State in Nigeria. Uloma, and Egbuna’s Tour Brokers International was honoured with the M.I.C.E. Company of the Year Nigeria.

Source:- Voyages Afriq

GTA Wins National Branding Initiative Award

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GTA won the National Branding Initiative Award 2018 at the Marketing World Awards night held on Friday November 16, 2018 @ the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel. The GTA’s #SeeGhana, #EatGhana, WearGhana, #FeelGhana campaign was adjudged the best National Brand Initiative.

CEO of Instinct Wave, organisers of the awards, Akin Naphtal in his opening address said Marketing World Awards aimed at recognising outstanding performances across the marketing communications industry in Africa.

The MWA, he said being Pan African was designed to celebrate “individuals and organizations that have put Africa on the map of global marketing with their extraordinary exploits”.

  

Other Winners

Organizational Awards

Ghana Insurance Brand of the Year

Glico Life Insurance

Nigeria Financial Brand of the Year

Union Bank

Ghana Financial Brand of the Year

Barclays Bank

Consumer Brand of the Year: Blue Band

Unilever Ghana

Excellence in Shopper Marketing    

FrieslandCampina Wamco, Nigeria

Ghana Iconic Brand of the Year

Club Premium Larger-Accra Brewery

Public Sector Campaign of the Year

‘Jack where are you- Ghana Post GPS

Most Innovative PR Campaign of the Year (Cowbell in the sky)

Promasidor Ghana

Best Package Design

Beta Malt in Returnable Glass Bottle- Accra Brewery

Marketing Campaign of the Year (Nigeria)         

(Uncle Thomas), Union Bank, Nigeria

Marketing Campaign of the Year

MTN Momo

Brand Activation of the YearRexona ‘Be the Next Champion’ campaign

Unilever Ghana

Excellence in Customer Care

MTN

National Branding Initiative Award (See Ghana/ Eat Ghana/ Wear Ghana/Feel Ghana)

Ghana Tourism Authority

Innovative Event Production Company of the Year

Action Event & Production, Nigeria

Innovative PR Agency of the Year (Ghana)         

Global Media Alliance

Innovative PR Agency of the Year (Nigeria)        

Modion Communication

Outdoor Company of the Year

EyeKontact

Ghana Media Agency of the Year

Dentsu Aegis Network Ghana

Regional Media Agency of the Year 

Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network

Marketing Team of the Year

MTN Ghana Marketing Team

Shopper Marketing Team of the Year        

FrieslandCampina Wamco, Nigeria

Sales Team of the Year

MTN Ghana Sales Team

Creative Agency of the Year   

Image & Time, Nigeria

Individual Awards

Emerging Marketing Woman of the Year

Ewurafua Addo-Atuah –Head of Marketing, Accra Brewery

Sales Professional of the Year Nigeria         

Adewale Arikawe, CDSM Director – Customer Development (Sales) And Shopper Marketing FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria

Sales Personality of the Year:

Eric Nsarkoh, Sales and Distribution Executive, MTN Ghana 

Corporate Affairs Personality of the Year Nigeria Olumide Orojimi,

Head, Corporate Communications, Nigeria Stock Exchange

Marketing Thought Leader Award

Dolapo Otegbayi, International Shopper and Channel Marketing Manager, Friesland Company Campina Wamco Nigeria

Woman PR Professional of the Year:

Nana  Efua Rockson- Group Head, Corporate Affairs, GLICO Group

Marketing Personality of the Year   

Nana Essilfua- Boison; Director of Marketing & Corporate Relations,  Barclays Bank Ghana

Customer Service Personality of the Year:

Jemima Kotei -Customer Relations Executive, MTN Ghana

Advertising Professional of the Year           

Emeka Okeke, CEO, Media Fuse Dentsu Aegis Network

PR Personality of the Year

ACP David Eklu

Africa Luxury Hotel Brand of the Year

Movenpick Ambassador Hotel

African Brand of the Year

MTN

CALL FOR EVENT SUBMISSIONS – YEAR OF RETURN-GHANA 2019

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The steering committee of the “Year of return, Ghana 2019” has announced a call for event organizers to submit proposals for endorsement and inclusion in the calendar of events to celebrate the year-long campaign.

The “year of Return, Ghana 2019” which is being coordinated by the Ghana Tourism Authority (G.T.A.) in partnership with the Office of Diaspora Affairs (Office of the President), the PANAFEST Foundation and the Adinkra group is under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. It marked a sordid and sad period, when our kith and kin were forcefully taken away into years of deprivation, humiliation and torture.

Ghana’s leadership in Africa’s quest to be free, united, politically and to be economically independent is well recognised. Ghana is unique and poised as a “Gate of Return” to our ncompatriots in the Diaspora. With the presence of a huge human capital in the Diaspora, government is committed to roll out policies to foster deeper relationship and reintegration with our compatriots to foster development.
In 2019, event organizers will plan cultural, sporting, investment, and youth events, and much more to celebrate “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019.” Some of those events include Back2Africa Festival, Independence day activities, Homecoming and Investment Summit, Right to Return, and Afrochella.

One of the main goals of “Year of Return, 2019” is to position Ghana as a key destination for African Americans and the Diaspora. There is huge opportunity to promote Ghana, Africa and Africa-American cultural insights, entrepreneurship, scientific exploits and leadership through the year-long activities to celebrate and commemorate the “Year of Return”.

In this regard, the Call for Event Submissions for “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is now open. To have your event to be considered as an official “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” event, please email [email protected] to receive a proposal form. All proposals will be due by November 30, 2018. Contact Annabelle McKenzie at [email protected] or +233 024 040 2408 with any questions or concerns.

Thank You
ISSUED BY THE STEERING COMMITTEE, “YEAR OF RETURN, GHANA

For further information:

 

travel-trade-arts

GTA Promotes Culture, Heritage and Adventure @ WTM 2018

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Ghana made a strong representation at the 2018 World Travel Market exhibition in London.The Ghana team was made up of public and private sector operators who combined efforts to ensure Ghana is represented on the global tourism calendar. The Ghana stand for 2018 was a replica of the independence monument with its bold caption of “Freedom and Justice” clearly communicating the environment Ghana has to promote its tourism.

 

  

The 2018 edition of World Travel Market (WTM) saw the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) continued focus on investing in innovation and digital advances for a tourism sector that can deliver opportunities for all. This comes at the back of the celebration of World tourism Day under the theme “Tourism and the Digital Transformation” earlier this year.

UNWTO co-hosted a Ministerial Summit and launched a white paper on the relationship between music and tourism at the UK tourism trade fair also. Other African countries were also represented at the fair.

 

Ghana Carnival 2018 lightened by warmth and colour

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The Ghana Carnival 2018 event took place on Saturday November 3 with scores of flamboyantly costumed paraders, masked reveller and a caravan of dancing troupes flooding the streets of Accra. Starting from the Obra Spot at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, through Adabraka to James Town’s Mantse Agbonaa, and on to the National Lotteries Authority on the High Street, before converging at its finishing point on Oxford Street, Osu.

 

Residents, shoppers and by-standers, many of whom could not resist the urge to join the cavalcade, were stunned by the uncommon kaleidoscope of bright colours, the outlandish parade gear, and the wild costume of the paraders – all of which were designed and crafted from local Ghanaian fabric and drapery.

No less than 20 carnival queens commanded the float which drifted along the entire stretch of the route with ball-jugglers, dancers, acrobats and party roisterers having a field day with musical accompaniment from a mix of cultural troupe music, brass band music and DJ sounds.

The colourful Mardi Gras was the fourth edition of the national carnival event and was organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture under the theme “Ghana Carnival 2018 – Using Arts and culture to promote the Economy” and was sponsored by Ghana Tourism Authority, the National Lotteries Authority, the GCB Bank, Ghana Airport Company, Accra Metropolitan Assembly and the Daily Graphic.

Ministry of Tourism sources say the principal objective for rolling out this year’s edition of the Ghana Carnival is to use the event “to diversify the country’s tourism and creative arts sectors by highlighting its cultural relevance and building a linkage between the creative arts and other sectors of the economy. It is the Ministry’s hope that in full maturity, the Ghana Carnival could become an avenue for creating employment and income opportunities for Ghanaians.

 

“I don’t see the cotton candies, the truffles and the bonbons yet, but I see the most important ingredients of a good carnival – the excitement and radiance brought by ingenious and creative parade gear, the colourful costume, the dancers, the jugglers, the acrobats, excellent musical accompaniment and above all an enthusiastic and responsive public,” said a visiting Trinidadian who chanced on the parade at Osu Oxford Street.

Although relatively new in Ghana, Carnivals of this nature date way back to the 13th Century in the Caribbean where they have become a major component of their tourism industry. Trinidad and Tobago is highly celebrated as the originator of the modern day carnival since the 18th century, having infused the parade with a lot of native culture, spectacle and traditions.

“Clearly, the future looks very bright for the Ghana Carnival,” suggested an authoritative source close to the organisers at the end of the parade adding that this being only the fourth attempt and considering that the edition was plagued with low sponsorship, the general patronage and public response are impressive and commendable.

“We very strongly believe that early or immediate preparations for Ghana Carnival 2019 and a more progressive response from Corporate Ghana will transform this social platform into one of our country’s most anticipated national calendar events,” the source said.

Besides being veritable tourism attractions, popular carnivals have evolved into powerful marketing tools for many corporate and social marketing entities who take advantage of the massive opportunities for brand exposure and visibility and also for point-of-sale activations.

The next edition, Ghana Carnival 2019, scheduled to take place just about the same time of the year is tipped to be big and exceptional because it has already been listed by the Tourism Ministry as one of the main items on the “Year of Return – Ghana 2019” celebration.

Soucre: pulse ghana

GTA Presents Equipment To GHATOF

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The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has presented office equipments to the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) the umbrella body for tourism private sector operators

The official presentation ceremony was done on 24th October, 2018 at notes by the CEO of the Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman with the support of the Deputy CEO (Operations), Mr. Ekow Sampson and Deputy CEO (Finance and Administration) Mr. Isaac Adomako Mensah. This is part of the Public Private Partnership initiative of the Authority.

The CEO of the GTA advised that the items be used for its intended purposes. This will obviously go a long way to support the operations of GHATOF effectively and efficiently.
The President of GHATOF, Madam Bella Ahu expressed a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to the GTA for such a laudable gesture at the time that GHATOF needed office logistics to aid in their administrative duties among other things towards the development of the private sector. She noted that this and many others will help GHATOF meet its set objectives.

    

GTA Holds Stakeholder Sensitisation On New Tourism Regulations

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Ghana Tourism Authority has engaged Hospitality Industry Practitioners as part of an ongoing industry training programmes to introduce practitioners to new Regulations for the Hospitality Sector.

The Authority engaged practitioners from Volta, Eastern, Western, Central, Brong-Ahafo and Ashanti regions. As part of the interactions, Practitioners were exposed to Health and Safety Practices, Food and Beverage Services, Role of General Manager, amongst others.

Practitioners were also encouraged to embark on continuous development on the skills and competences of their staff. The Ghana Tourism Authority pledged to have regular engagements with practitioners by providing them with extension services which will impact positively on service delivery and improve visitor experience.

    
    

Ministry of Tourism Launches “See Ghana” Magazine

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The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, GTA partners Glitz Africa have launched “SEE GHANA ” magazine.

Inspired by the untold stories and forgotten places, the new magazine – SEE GHANA has been born. The publication of this magazine which has been made possible through a strong private sector partnership with Glitz Africa magazine, underscoring the importance the Ministry and GTA are place on efforts at marketing Ghana first to Ghanaians and then internationally.

The Quarterly magazine was outdoored at a short ceremony at the Kempinski Gold Coast hotel in Accra. Sponsorship opportunities for AFRIMA (Africa Music Awards) to be hosted in Ghana in November 2018 was also announced at the launch.