NEWS LETTER - JAN. 2010


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In this news letter:
New focus
Evaluation of project
€ 6388,= available for Ghanaian projects
A quarter full of publicity
Next to a book: moving images
Difficult cooperation with civil organizations
Ghana news also negative
Black Stars as ambassadors
Number of visitors?
Ervaar Ghana also for Benin, Togo etc.
International edition
Vakantiebeurs

Former news letters:
news letter june 2009
news letter january 2009
news letter october 2008
news letter juli 2008

A new year and a new phase of our project: fighting poverty through more visitors to the country of Ghana. In this newsletter we look forwards and backwards.

€ 6388, = AVAILABLE FOR PROJECTS IN GHANA
At the moment, we have a "profit" by the good book sale. That is nice, but the primary result of our project is the amount of additional visitors to Ghana and the community-based destinations in particular. The "profit" is an extra result and that extra amount we invest in Ghana to enhance ecotourism. We expect over € 10,000 to finish and the counter is now € 6388. The identification of potential targets is pending. Suggestions are welcome

A NEW FOCUS
The original plan was to build off in January 2010. We wanted to to help Ghana with a book and thus good and long lasting promotion. We reached that point. Development aid is making yourself unnecessary and after two years the money was also finished. Throughout the book project we saw we could do more. We established the Ghanaian Tourist Office in the Benelux as a next step and have laid the foundation for it. It is the first Tourist Office which work in The Netherlands for an African country. We have many ideas. Yet we have decided to stop a number of activities since the Vakantiebeurs.

WHERE WE CONTINUE..
The idea to work for the poor local communities was our motive. It helped us to avoid difficulties and resist skepticism and clumsiness. We continue to support these destinations to keep them on the map. Like:
- creating an international edition of Ervaar Ghana
- continue to tell about the small eco-destinations on our website
- facilitating a TV serie about these destinations
- doing the logistical support to the sale of Ervaar Ghana
- investing in these destinations from the book earnings
- giving advice on PR in the Benelux for these destinations
Also, we continue with the Experience book series and with sharing our ideas and experiences on development aid in the field of tourism. The world is bigger than Ghana

WE STOPPED WITH?
Not only the poor local communities benefit from our work. Our strategy is "more eco-tourists to Ghana" and it thus benefits the entire Ghanaian tourism sector, also companies not on the poverty line and well-funded organizations who promote tourism/development, such as the Ghanaian government and the Dutch CBI. Unfortunately we experience working with them as difficult and that breaks down our energy. Activities in the interest of Ghana in general, we will only do so at the explicit request (and budget). Examples which so far we did for free, are:
- write a 2 page report on Ghana in de Vakantiekrant
- improving the country information on many major websites
- solve the communication gap between Ghana and the Dutch press
- approach and talk to journalists about Ghana in general
- generate media buzz about Ghana as a holiday destination
- setting up the stand at the Vakantiebeurs with Dutch material
- promotional materials such as posters, leaflets etc. aimed at the Dutch market
The closure is contrary to our strategic sense and we see low hanging fruit rot, but we could not do otherwise. At the moment clients (and budget) approach us, we will restart this activity.

WWW.GHANA-VERKEERSBUREAU.NL CONTINUES!
We keep our website in the air. This is also part of the book project. We know that our site is found by Ghana-interested people and we will support this. We remain telling of the eco-destinations and collect your travel experiences. We appreciate in particular your travel schedules. Whoever fails to work with the forum may also mail the text to forum@ghana-verkeersbureau.nl. With your experience we can give the tourism projects in Ghana improvement. Providers of Ghana-related products, travel agency’s, foundations, guest houses etc. are also invited to present themselves. Please mail your advertisement to us at forum@ghana-verkeersbureau.nl.

LOOKING BACKWARDS: THE PROJECT EVALUATION
With the transition to the next stage, we evaluated the project and made an intermediate financial status report. This report will soon be send to our main financing organizations and will also be posted on the website. For the evaluation in terms of visitor numbers and spending it is too early. We do it again with a call to your travel experience to share with us.

HOW CAN YOU FOLLOW US?
For some time we regularly post news on our site in Dutch. This newsletter is a translation and a brief summary. From now on the website replaces the newsletter. Who wants to be actively informed can account to the “RSS-Feed”. Our message will appear automatically in your electronic newspaper, although in Dutch. Periodically we will put an English translation and summary on this site.

LOOKING BACKWARDS: A QUARTER FULL OF PUBLICITY
Lisa Freiburg took the cover photo and emailed us: "Nice , I really see my picture everywhere, in magazines, newspapers, websites.” Indeed we are proud of the media attention that we could generate: big in Internationale Samenwerking, large in Metro News page (thanks to Hivos), articles in De Pers, Noord-Hollands Dagblad, Columbus Magazine, De Standaard (Belgium), Libelle and many many travel sites and newsletters. Ervaar in Ghana was even on SBS TV News Show. The presentation to former President Kufuor and the nomination as best travelguide was our peak. For an overview, see our website.

AFTER TEXT AND IMAGE FILM NOW!
The Belgian TV approached us because they will use 'Ervaar Ghana " for a series of six television entries about eco-destinations in Ghana. Simultaneously, we participate in a project by means of short films to promote Ghana in the world of new media (Facebook, Youtube, etc.). So we put the small eco destinations even better in the picture. Logistical support for both projects is very welcome.

FIRST INVESTEMENT HAS BEEN DONE USING BOOK EARNINGS
Using book earnings, we were able to support the village of Sognaayilli with EUR 200,=. With this moneyt they can protect the guesthouse in times of heavy rain.

GHANA NEGATIVE IN THE NEWS
Ghana as a sex paradise for fifty year old women? Ghana as a criminal rubbish -dump? Unfortunately, such messages are in the news. Partly sometimes confused with Gambia, partly enlarged and partly a (somewhat) true. Waste is a serious environmental problem in Ghana and the negative aspects of Accra are increasing. There, visitors are seen to a growing extent as prey rather than treated as guests, as in many world cities. Tourism development has also its downside.

THE BLACK STARS AS AMBASSADORS
The Black Stars are the players of the national soccer team and they also ensure that Ghana news is positive in the Dutch newspapers. They were in the finals of the Africa Cup. Also plays the "World Cup for players under 20 years' in the 'real' World Cup in South Africa this year in Pool D. A final with the Netherlands is therefore not, but perhaps a half-or quarter-final. On June 1 2010 will Ghana play against the Netherlands at De Kuip.

HOW MANY PEOPLE GO TO GHANA ANNUALY?
The above question we often hear after a long pull and we finally have official figures for 2007 and 2008 (from GIPC Ghana). In 2008 there were nearly 700,000 international visitors in Ghana and that is almost 20% more than in 2007. The figures by country of origin or 2009 are not yet known to us.

GHANA AS PATH FINDER TO AFRICA
‘The borders of Ghana is a recent European 'invention' and centuries of cultural influence doesn't alter by new boundaries. Many cultural aspects from Ervaar Ghana are also applicable to Togo, Benin, Gambia, Senegal and Cameroon etc. Interested in these countries: buy ‘Ervaar Ghana’.

CALL FOR SUPPORT: INTERNATIONAL EDITION
For the international (= English) edition, we are looking for a publisher / distributor. English language books translated into Dutch appears to be common. The route from the Netherlands to England and the United States for many (travel) publishers show an unknown road, so it is difficult. Even now we run against (myopic) reasoning that there is no market for such a book, just like two years ago. Now we laugh at them. To be continued. We also seek further help with translation (many hands make light work).

LOOKING BACKWARDS: VAKANTIEBEURS 2010
Ghana had a booth/stand from 12 till 17th January at the Vakantiebeurs ("Holiday Fair"). As many as 9 Ghanaians were invited by the Center for Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI) and arrived from Ghana to promote. Obviously it is good, but we also have mixed feelings because the publicity could force many more. Unfortunately, CBI thinks that it is not her job and our help through our Tourist Office was not appreciated. Promotion for a country is illegal according to CBI. Sorry for all of our contacts. • HomeTo DutchAbout usTravelguideContact
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