Choice of Ho must be an avenue to improve accessibility to the region’s tourist attractions


This year’s Independence Day celebration will be held in Ho, the Volta Regional capital. This is in line with President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s vision of regional rotation in the celebration of the event which hitherto had been centred in Accra. This year celebration is expected to sell the Volta Region to the world and might lead to investors coming to invest in the region.

Less than a week to the celebration, preparations towards the event are far advance in ensuring a smooth anniversary celebration. I travelled to the Volta Region twice last month and I retuned on one occasion with a broken tire due to the bad nature of some part of the road. I don’t know if the road leading to Ho has been improved prior to the celebration since many people will be travelling to Ho. All commuters on that road will affirm that the road needs a facelift. The celebration is coming at the right time and I hope this will lead to an improvement. Investor and tourists will love to travel on a smooth beautiful road devoid of potholes. Three factors make every destination successful and accessibility is one of the 3As in tourism. Without good accessibility to a destination, tourism will not thrive and as we try to sell the region, it must come with good accessibility especially leading to our tourist sites.

An essential requirement for the development of tourism and most sectors of the economy is the development of a transport infrastructure, and adequate accessibility to the surrounding areas. A transport infrastructure contributes to economic success based on tourism. For a majority of tourists, a good accessibility to a tourist destination is when the area can be reached and explored, quickly, cheaply and comfortably (e.g. by car or using public transport). Prideaux (2000) argues that a destination should be easy to get to and easy to travel around the area. On the other hand, certain recent studies (Celata 2007; Toth & David 2010) indicate that there is no absolute connection between the improvement of geographical accessibility long-term tourism medium-term tourism short-term tourism. These studies also indicate that there is a significant difference between the theoretical models of tourism and the actual tourist waves. A number of other studies (Komornicki et al. 2010; Michniak 2010, 2011; Rosik 2012) clearly indicate that nowadays networking and overall regional development must be based on detailed accessibility analyses. Optimisation of the transport system can then be achieved even if there is no direct impact on tourism.

Accessibility and tourism destination choice

The cost of travel is one of the main components of tourism expenditures; but distance is only   one of many factors influencing the choice of destination. Many tourism areas have developed    considerably despite their relative distance from competitors. A scarce accessibility can be          balanced by other elements and can even become itself a source of attraction. The hypothesis is   that tourists choose their destination according at first to local resources and attractions. In the    decision process, tourists consider a number of alternative destinations with similar                      characteristics and vocations. Only after this first selection, destinations are compared according to their accessibility. The weight of accessibility on the decision is then correlated to the              substitutability of destinations. Localities possessing competitive advantages can attract tourists despite their relative distance. The problem of accessibility may thus be relevant only for             destinations with similar characteristics – for example the sea and sun.

Model of tourism and not for unique places like historic cities and naturalistic sites. Accessibility per se cannot represent a source of competitiveness. We need to reverse the usual representation of the relation between peripherality, accessibility and local development: competitive                 advantages do not arise from being closer to the market, but from the ability to use and promote   the local attractive potential to reduce the weight of distance. If a destination is unique – accessibility has no influence on its attractiveness. Filippo Celata, Università di Roma did a lot of studies in Italy to confirm the correlation between tourist flow to a destination. Assessing different destinations he found that destination with poor accessibilities, received low tourism flow unlike destinations with better accessibilities. This explains how road networks in Europe have been improved over the years and has led to increased tourism flow. As we journey to Ho to celebrate our independence, we need to remember that the Volta Region has some of the best tourist attractions in the country and the overall package for Ghana as a preferred tourist destination must lead to improvement to the road development in all regions thereby attraction go transport systems. Happy Independence anniversary to all Ghanaians.

. Philip Gebu is a Tourism Lecturer. He is the C.E.O of FoReal Destinations Ltd, a Tourism Destinations Management and Marketing Company based in Ghana and with partners in many other countries. Please contact Philip with your comments and suggestions. Write to [email protected] / [email protected]. Visit our website at or call or WhatsApp +233(0)244295901/0264295901.Visist our social media sites Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: FoReal Destinations

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