The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has given operators of the La Pleasure Beach in Accra a 15-day ultimatum to produce proof that they were operating with the required documents or else the facility would be closed down.
The documents in demand include an evacuation plan, a Fire Service Certificate, Environmental Protection Agency permit and police clearance certificate.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, gave the deadline when he and some directors and officers of the authority visited the La beach facility and others along the Accra-Tema beach front last Friday, September 6, as part of their inspection tour of some beaches to ensure they were up to standard.
The GTA intends to weed out illegal operators who do not meet the minimum standards set by the law.
According to Mr Agyemang, the La Pleasure Beach had become one of the biggest tourist sites in Accra but the safety of visitors could not be guaranteed due to the absence of an evacuation plan and other permits which allowed it to operate as a public facility.
“We came here about a year ago and we put together a plan of action that we thought could work in the mutual interest of all parties. We have seen that there has been some relapse on the part of management,” Mr Agyemang said.
“We are giving them a 15-day ultimatum to provide certain answers, the most important among them being the fire certificate and the evacuation plan. These are the minimum requirements for opening up a public facility. This is one of the biggest beaches in Accra and we need to ensure that there is enough safety for visitors as well as the workers,” he added.
Ensuring right standards
He allayed fears that such harsh actions could cripple the progress of the facility, adding that “we are mindful of the high patronage of this facility and the revenue it accrues for the country so our intentions are not to collapse it but only that the right thing is done.”
Mr Agyemang also indicated that his outfit was ready to engage with the management of the facility to ensure that the right standards were upheld.
He also expressed delight at the improvement in sanitation at the beach, indicating that there had been progress as compared to the last time they visited the facility.
He commended the management for such an effort and urged them to continue and clear all the filth from the beach.
Other places visited
The team also visited the Titanic Beach at Sakumono and Mr Agyemang stated that the GTA would collaborate with the assembly to ensure that the place did not become a slum beach.
He added that “much attention needs to be paid and we need to lay out a proper master plan else people might erect illegal structures and cause haphazard development.”