The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched the 2022 Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival after two years of non-operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Kwesi Agyeman, who officially launched the event, noted that the Paragliding Festival has become a trigger for international tourism in Ghana.
“This year, hot air balloon, Kwahu Marathon, would be added”, Kwasi Agyeman said. “The Paragliding [Festival] would start even before Good Friday. We have set up the Local Organising Committee already. Event festival guide designed to inform tourist on what is happening, where has been developed as well to enable tourists to move around and access events easily”.
The GTA CEO revealed that the intention of making the Paragliding Festival a daily activity is in force.
“A Ghanaian pilot has been trained to start that. In September, Kwahu Professionals Network would organize the homecoming in collaboration with GTA. Organizers would need a permit from the Assemblies before they can operate whiles Covid-19 protocols would be duly ensured”.Kwesi Agyeman
3Million Tourists Expected at Kwahu Easter Celebration
Meanwhile, The Kwahu East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Isaac Agyapong, averred that some 3 million tourists are expected this year and noted “Efforts at traffic management, security, and tourism promotion are in place. Other exciting tourist attraction sites are around for sight-seeing”.
The Kwahu West MCE, Yaw Owusu Addo, further declared that commercializing and monetizing the Kwahu Easter Festival to rake in more income for the locals and the local economy was critical.
“We need to develop other sites in the Kwahu area and build an arts village to promote the tourism in the enclave”, says Yaw Owusu Addo.
That notwithstanding, The Kwahu South MCE, Emmanuel Atta Ofori, assured putting in place Covid protocols for a successful Easter festival and mentioned that several roads are under construction in the area and close-by districts for easy access.
Kwahu Kyidom hene and Pepease hene, Nana Ayerepe Ababio, who was present at the event, urged Kwahu businessmen and women to interact with GTA to see how best to create and provide jobs in the Kwahu area. He also emphasized that Paragliding shouldn’t be a yearly affair.
Nana Ayerepe Ababio further noted that tourists who intend to be at the festival must take the Covid jab before coming to the Kwahu Easter festival.
The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) posited that this year, the vehicles would have to park at Nkawkaw to join long buses.
“We shall have pick and ride buses to get tourists up the mountain. Stickers would also be on sale [for] vehicles who want to climb up to tourist places”, Obo Gyasehene, Nana Okra Baadu, a member of the LOC explained.
Paragliding, An Integral Part of Kwahu Easter Celebration
The Paragliding Festival is an annual event held during Easter where seasoned pilots from around the world are invited to fly hundreds of people during a four-day event at Kwahu Atibie. It is mostly patronized by foreign tourists. Locals rather enjoy the get-together and merry-making bit of the celebrations.
Introduced in 2005, the festival has become an integral part of the annual Easter with aerial fun, ceremonies, and music. The inclusion of the events as part of the festivities has seen a dramatic increase in number of visits to the various attractions within the Kwahu enclave as well as increased tourist activities and improved economic activities, according to reports from GTA.
After its introduction, the event has drawn many enthusiasts to Kwahu and positively impacted the local economy. It is worth mentioning that the event has over the years flown thousands of tourists and given them memorable experiences. Flying over the Odwenoma mountain to the Nkawkaw Park Landing Site is a breathtaking experience for tourists who have dared those feet high. Airlines, hoteliers, transport operators, food vendors, and farmers have been beneficiaries who rake in during the occasion, per reports from the GTA.
Tourists who wish to enjoy the Paragliding would pay GH¢550 for a ticket; GH¢500 for flying, and the additional GH¢50 for antigen rapid test that is expected to give results in ten minutes. Tickets have been made available for easy access online.