Sunyani — The refurbished Kintampo waterfalls in the Bono East Region attracted more than 23,806 visitors last year, with majority of the number been foreign tourists.
This represents an increment by 4,583 in the 2018 figure of 19,223.
The tourism traffic, according to the acting Bono Regional Manager of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Joseph Appiagyei, was due to the construction of canopy walkway as well as brisk marketing on social media and the GTA website.
Speaking in an interview the Ghanaian Times here in Sunyani yesterday, Mr Appiagyei said the canopy walkway was constructed under a public-private partnership initiative, involving Bunsu Aboretum Canopy Walkway Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian firm, GTA, Kintampo Municipal Assembly and the traditional authorities in the area.
He was speaking against the backdrop of progress made so far since the recent refurbishment of the waterfalls.
The two-line suspended 80 by 90 metres walkway is about 100 metres above the water level.
He noted that the facility at the waterfalls was one of the recommendations in a safety audit report that was occasioned by a fatal heavy rainstorm at the site.
The incident happened on March 17, 2017, and claimed 18 lives. The victims were students of the Wenchi Methodist Senior High School and the University of Energy and Natural Resources in Sunyani.
He added that besides the canopy walkway, the GTA and its partners had also started the construction of a zip-line over the waterfalls, saying "when completed, it would make the site one of the most attractive ecotourism sites in the country."
The site's refurbishment has added facilities like pavilions and summer huts, mechanised borehole water, washrooms, cafeteria, museum, rehabilitated staircases; and mini shops that trade in provisions and traditional artifacts, among others.
Touching on plans for 2020, Mr Appiagyei said, "after a successful 'Year of Return' project by the GTA, we intend to also cash in on the new project dubbed, 'Beyond the Return.'"
Under this project, he said the GTA "plans to refurbish the slave routes across the country which passes through Salaga, Bono Manso, among others."