The latest research conducted by the Anane Institute reveals how the closure of the Sunyani airport is having a negative effect on tourism in Bono and Ahafo regions.
The Sunyani airport, the only airport in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, has been closed down since 2015 due to encroachment and problems on its runway.
Rehabilitation works at the airport were expected to complete by the end of 2019 but as to whether this result would be achieved is a different issue.
National and international tourist arrivals into the region have significantly reduced since the airport was closed. Information received by the Anane Institute from the major tourist sites indicates that tourist visits have reduced.
Some of the major tourist sites which have negative impacts include Fiema-Boabeng monkey sanctuary, Kintampo waterfalls, Bui dam, and Tanoboase sacred grove.
Residents who have to sit in buses for long hours to travel to Accra, Kumasi, Tamale and other places have expressed their discomfort.
Businessmen in these regions also expressed how the unavailability of the airport is affecting their businesses.
Some event organizers also told the researchers that they are unable to bring musicians and other celebrities due to the closure of the airport.
According to them, these celebrities turn down their offers because they are not willing to travel by road for long hours.
The staff of the airport declined to comment on the issue after several attempts.
Following this development, the lead researcher and executive director of the institute, Edward Twum Anane, demanded the reopening of the airport and the aggressive marketing of the over 40 tourist sites in the 3 regions.
He also asked for the three regions to develop 10-year development plans which will anchor on tourism as the three regions have huge tourism potentials.