La must take advantage of its tourism opportunities

TOURISM is one of the major areas some developing countries make millions of dollars to boost their economies. Sadly, the situation is different in Ghana.

One typical tourist site located in the capital city, Accra, is at Labadi. Otherwise referred to as La by the indigenes, it is located in the La Dadekotopon Municipality of the Great Accra Region.

According to statistics by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), about 70 per cent of tourists who visit the country make a stop at La just to have a feel of the sea and patronise the made-in-Ghana goods which are often exhibited at the Trade Fair Centre.

For this reason, a number of tourist and recreational centres have been established to serve as a place of fun and entertainment for tourists whenever they visit the country.

And as business comes with pleasure it is no surprise that La has some of the coolest hangouts in Accra, especially its beaches.

However, living conditions have been a major issue in this vicinity because of the number of recreational centres and hostels spread around the area. Goods sold in this area have become very expensive now unlike before.

Indeed, the standard of living has changed from the normal life to a high one because of the new look of the area. As a matter of fact, the presence of tourists and visitors in this area has changed the normal living standards to a very expensive one.

Irrespective of its high level of tourism, La suffers from a patch of illiteracy, which in some way affects business and communication among the inhabitants and the tourists.

Most of the tourists, who visit this community annually, complain piercingly of the language barrier between them and the local inhabitants. A number of people living in the community are not well educated and has served as a barrier to communication during business transactions.

The community has lots of made-in-Ghana goods like beads and sculptures among others which are displayed for sale in various stores and shops dotted across the area for tourists to patronise.

Lamentably, due to the high level of illiteracy in the area, when it comes to traders selling their wares, it becomes a problem. The level of bargaining is not well situated with the buyer and so in the end, the buyer turns to buy the item at an expensive price.

La, one of the nation’s oldest neighbourhoods, is seen as one of the most prominent symbols of the Ga state. Due to colonisation and its proximity to the Central Business District, some European settlers made it their home.

Hundred years ago, parts of La, which today constitutes Otswe and South La Estates, were predominantly occupied by Europeans until the advent of Ghana’s independence in 1957.

Every neighbourhood craves peace and security and this is what La exactly offers. With a police station within the vicinity and the presence of security officers, bandits and goons are always in check by security personnel.

The Labone Secondary School is located within the Labadi neighborhood. Most of the schools in Labadi are public ones but a few good private schools can also be found in the neighbourhood.

Traders at the beaches and other tourist sites should endeavour to be proficient in the English language to make trade sites friendlier.

By Janet Hagan

The author is a student of the Ghana Institute of Journalism

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