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Business News of Saturday, 30 May 2015

Source: B&FT

Dodi Princess to sail 3rd quarter to bridge revenue shortfall

A newly-built 176-capacity cruise boat, the Dodi Princess II, is set to be operational by the third quarter of this year as revelers keenly wait to sail to the famed Dodi Island on the Volta Lake.

The new vessel, when operational, will help bridge the revenue short-fall of the Volta Hotel Limited, Akosombo, resulting from the break-down of the 350-capacity MV Dodi Princess I, over a year ago.

The three-deck Dodi Princess II, though half the capacity of Dodi Princess 1, has all the intimate details of the latter, with a modern appeal presented by its nicely-set-out bar on the middle deck. The wooden-floor upper-deck with a beautiful view of the lake is dedicated for live band music to entertain guests on-board.

The breakdown of the 350-capacity cruise vessel MV Dodi Princess I, which accounts for 40 percent of revenue for Akosombo Hotel Limited -- a hospitality subsidiary of the Volta River Authority (VRA) -- is said to have caused a significant revenue shortfall to the hotel.

The Volta Hotel’s operational performance for 2011was marked by a stronger result, with total revenue increasing by some 57 percentto GH¢3.4million in 2011 compared to GH¢2.1million in 2010.

However, with impairment of the famed vessel, the subsidiary is thought to have lost about GH?1.3million last year.

The Volta Hotels Limited signed a US$1.3million contract with Bluefone Marine Company, a Ghanaian-based marine construction company, for reconstruction of the non-functional Dodi Princess 1 Cruise Boat.

Sailing on the lake, one can see the Akosombo Dam, the Presidential chalets, Dwarfs’ Island, the tilapia farm and scenic views of surrounding mountains.

Aside from the two-hour cruise to the Dodi Island, the Maritime Club House operated by the hotel offers water-sports lovers a host of other activities.

There are kayaks and speed-boats for water-sports enthusiasts. For those with aquaphobia, the view of the river and surrounding mountainous landscape, as well as the fresh breeze, will surely soothe you as you sip on freshly-made fruit juice and treat your fingers to some hot-grilled tilapia harvested from the tilapia farm on the lake.

Upon arrival at Dodi, one is welcomed by the inhabitants of the island with lively cultural music and traditional dances; it’s truly a lovely experience. A section of the rocky island is inhabited by some 300 people. The other half, where people usually visit, belongs to the VRA.

The island hitherto had nothing noteworthy to attract hundreds of visitors who might want to sleep over or spend some money when they visit. However, that has changed.

The VRA has created a park on the unadorned island. There is now an ostrich park, a bush-buck park, and two large bird-cages with assorted colourful local and foreign birds. The three large ostriches at the theme park are also friendly.

The Volta Hotels Limited in Akosombo was incorporated in 1970. It is a 3-star luxury hotel with 35 rooms including four suites and a privilege house, a discotheque, pleasure activities -- including cruising the lake on MV Dodi Princess, a swimming pool, two luxurious conference halls, and a double tennis court and golf course located on a hilltop overlooking the Akosombo hydro dam.