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Regional News of Thursday, 26 February 2015

Source: GNA

Closure of Benya Bridge affects tourism at Elmina

Construction work on the Benya Bridge at Elmina that leads to the Elmina Castle has contributed substantially to reduce patronage of the Elmina Castle by tourists, the Forts and Castles Division of the Ghana Museum and Monuments Board in Cape Coast told the GNA in an interview.

Work on the 75-metre bridge started on March 15 last year is scheduled to be completed in September this year and this has led to the closure of the main road to the castle.

The closure also means tourists have to use the Ataabadze road which, apart from its distance, is in a deplorable and compels the tourists to walk to the Castle.

Mr. Mark Amenyo-Xa, the assistant Administrative Secretary at the Division, said the number of tourist who visited the Elmina Castle declined from 73,830 in 2013 to 58,141 last year.

He said the Castle might continue to record low patronage especially from foreign tourists until the bridge is completed.

Mr. Amenyo-Xa said that 15,134 of the tourist who visited the Castle last year were foreigners and 43,004 Ghanaians.

He said Ghanaians had not embraced domestic tourism and appealed to all to show interest in domestic tourism.

Mr. Isaac Kweku Sam, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abrem, said tourism would boom when the Bridge is completed and would be important to the fishing industry in the area.