Kwahu Easter festival back after Covid-induced 2-yr break

Paragliding is one of the tourist attractions during the Easter festivities

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched the 2022 Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival at Kwahu Abene after two years of non-operation due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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.

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 that feet high.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Akwasi Agyemang, pointed out the Paragliding Festival has become a trigger for international tourism in Ghana.

“This year hot air balloon, Kwahu Marathon, would be added,” he said.

“The Paragliding [Festival] would start off 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 move around and access events easily.”

The Paragliding is mostly patronised by foreign tourists. Locals rather enjoy the get-together and frenzy bit.

Airlines, hoteliers, transport operators, food vendors, and farmers have been beneficiaries who rake in during the occasion.

The GTA CEO said 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 organise the home coming in collaboration with GTA. On how the event would be explained, organisers would need permit from the Assemblies before they can operate whiles Covid-19 protocols would be duly ensured.”

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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.

The Kwahu East Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Isaac Agyapong, said some 3 million tourists are expected this year.

“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, was emphatic commercialising and monetising 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.”

The Kwahu South MCE, Emmanuel Atta Ofori, assured of putting in place Covid protocols for a successful Easter festival and said several roads are under construction in the area and close-by districts for easy access.

Kwahu Kyidom hene and Pepease hene, Nana Ayerepe Ababio, urged Kwahu businessmen and women to interact with GTA to see how best to create and provide jobs in the Kwahu area.

He emphasised the Paragliding shouldn’t be a yearly affair.

Nana Ayerepe Ababio was emphatic tourists who intend to be at the festival must take the Covid jab before coming to the Kwahu Easter festival.

The Local Organising Committee says this year, the vehicles would have to park at Nkawkaw to join long buses.

Those who wish to ride to other tourist sites would need to purchase official stickers.

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“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.

The Paragliding event was introduced in 2005.

The festival has 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 as well.

After its introduction, the event has drawn many enthusiasts to Kwahu and positively impacted the local economy.

By Yvonne Neequaye||Ghana