The 200-member delegation from Trinidad and Tobago, planning to attend this yearís Pan-African-Historical-Theatre-Festival (PANAFEST) has drastically reduced to about 50 due to the ďincredible increaseĒ in the price of airfares.
Dr. Ben Abdallah, a member of the Panafest Foundation, who criticised the high prices on Wednesday at the launch of the Festival, in Elmina, said desperate efforts made by the Foundation to have the fares reduced had yielded no results. The action of the airlines, he noted, could threaten the smooth celebration of the biennial event as it is likely to discourage prospective celebrants of the festival, slated for Friday, July 22, to Monday, August 1, also the Emancipation Day.
Participants are largely Africans in the Diaspora, across the continent and beyond. Dr Abadallah said should the high fares remain it would affect the patronage of the 10th edition and 20th anniversary of the institution of Panafest, scheduled for 2012.
He said the stakeholders should evolve measures to get the airlines on board as partners because they are the sole beneficiaries of the event and recalled years back when Ghana Airways was part of the sponsors of the Festival.
A Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. James Agyenim-Boateng, pledged the governmentís continuous support to sustain both Panafest and Emancipation Day because they have the potential to sell Ghana abroad as a preferred tourism destination.
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