Today on the blog, Ato from Landtours Ghana tells us a little more about the full service destination management company based in Accra, Ghana.
TourRadar (TR): What kind of training do your tour guides have?
Landtours Ghana (LG): 50% of Landtours tour guides have earned university degrees in Tourism or History. Our guides have also been through Tour Guiding courses that conform to standards established by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). In addition to this, tour guides working for Landtours undertake a series of training sessions arranged by Landtours to ensure that they are up to date with any changes that have been made to UNTWO standards.
TR: What’s the average size of your tour groups?
LG: The average tour group size that we handle would be approximately 15 persons and this is focusing primarily on independent travelers. There are however occasional exceptions in which we host groups ranging from the occasional honeymoon couples to groups of approximately 30 to 60 persons. We also regularly handle services for a cruise ship carrying between 700 to 900 travelers.
TR: What are you most hoping travelers will get out of the Landtours experience?
LG: What we strive to attain each day is for our travelers to become West African ambassadors, and this mostly occurs after they safely return home and reflect on experiencing a world of warm smiles, great foods, tropical weather and historically rich cultures that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world. Our destinations do most of the convincing on their own so what we focus on is showing our travelers the best of Ghana and West Africa, and we do not take that statement lightly. We are not referring to simply enjoying the most prestigious accommodations West Africa has to offer that serve seven course meals, but rather providing an experience that travelers would want to tell friends at home all about. Whether this involves a Living Heritage Experience, naming ceremony and becoming a member of a little village such as Torgorme, located in Ghana’s Volta Region, or recalling the first hand experience of visiting and working with cocoa farmers and savoring the rich taste of the cocoa seed that they plucked off the tree a few minutes earlier. Experiences like these are life altering and visitors will never look at a bar of chocolate the same because each time they see it, they are reminded of sharing smiles and a fruit with the individual who probably made that bar of chocolate they are eating a reality. As a result, most of our travelers look forward to the next time that they can return to West Africa, and a good number of them actually become return visitors that have nurtured relationships with locals made from previous visits that go far beyond their relationship with us at Landtours.
TR: What travel experience inspired the founding of Landtours?
LG: During the early 1990s, Mona Boyd (CEO of Landtours Ghana Ltd.) had relocated to Ghana and started the original company U-Save Rent A Car based in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. Initially established as a car rental company, through providing transportation services for clients from all over, Ms. Boyd noticed the market need for full destination management services as a growing number of her clients would plead for her help to coordinate activities and adequate accommodation around Ghana and in neighboring West African countries such as Togo, Benin and Cote d’Ivoire. She immediately realized that there was a serious gap in the market that she could help to fill. With the increase of such requests during the mid 1990s, Mona Boyd reorganized her business and began to coordinate all-inclusive excursions to better serve these needs of her clients, and she continues to grow the company in the same manner today.
TR: What is the most interesting meal or dish that’s been served on a Landtours tour?
LG: We have had a number of interesting and delicious meals served on many of our tours, however the classic Ghanaian dish of “Red Red” (fried plantain and bean stew) has definitely had the largest impact on many of our travelers. We have always been very conscious of easing our foreign travelers into the vast world of flavorful West African foods, and Red Red has earned its title as one of our most popular transitional dishes simply due to the reviews that we continue to receive from our travelers. Almost every traveler loves the dish. So much so that after highlighting the Red Red recipe in the 2012 November-December edition of our Landtours Dewurubo (Newsletter), we received an influx of emails and phone calls from recent visitors requesting additional advice on preparing the dish for their guests, friends, and family members back in the United States, Australia, Canada etc.
TR: Where did the Landtours logo come from?
LG: The Landtours name and logo was selected after conducting several board meetings and focus groups. The final result is a logo that represents energy, change, and a few characteristics of West Africa such as our long winding rivers and fertile green landscapes. These West African characteristics are represented through soft earthy colors reminiscent of all the natural resources that we have always been blessed with.
TR: If Landtours Ghana could run only one tour to only one destination, what would it be and why?
LG: The one tour to only one destination that Landtours would offer would be our Ghana Cultural Tour. The international community has adopted the slogan that Ghana is “The Gateway and Heart of West Africa” and with this being said, serves as a great destination for any travelers curious about traveling. We invite you to join us on an unforgettable journey into a land rich in history, tradition and culture – a land whose people are noted for their warmth, friendliness and hospitality. Ghana’s history spans almost 2,000 years, to the riches of the ancient Ghanaian Empire. Abundant trade in gold, ivory, salt and kola nuts between Ghana and other African nations eventually drew Europeans to the shores of West Africa and to the country known as the Gold Coast. From the legendary Ashanti Kingdom to the vibrant streets of Accra, you will find virgin beaches, bustling markets, and historical sites steeped in sad, inhumane histories. In Ghana, you will appreciate exquisite arts and crafts and experience cultural drumming and dancing that will touch your very soul with its intensity. Come, relax and enjoy Ghana’s culture, beauty and warmth.
TR: Why should I choose to travel with Landtours Ghana?
LG: In order to answer this question adequately, we would have to understand what exactly you are looking to experience in your travels. Adventure? Cultural exposure? Wildlife? Immersion in nature? We can definitively say that Landtours is the most experienced destination management company operating in Ghana and West Africa for all the above. We have a large array of travel packages which can all be, and are often, adapted to suit the custom needs of various travelers ranging from individual passionate explorer to larger and more logistically challenging groups such as foreign dignitaries including the last three presidents of the United States. We are equipped with a staff of experienced drivers and a skilled staff of English speaking, friendly, professional and courteous Tour Guides who not only understand our company core values but believe beyond doubt that the travelers must have a truly unique and authentic African experience. Travelers can be assured that they will receive the best services at competitive prices because of course we want our clients to return with their friends and family someday in the future. Equipped with a young, energetic and workaholic staff; you can guarantee that we work around the clock to ensure that you experience the Best of Ghana and West Africa.
To check out all of the tours led by Landtours Ghana, click here. To read what real travellers are saying about their experiences with Landtours Ghana, click here.
Here’s an album of scenes from a recent excursion led by Landtours Ghana
, from their Facebook page:
Anna was born in the beautiful state of New Jersey, but spent most of her life growing up in California. She's been to 28 of the 50 states in her native US, and after college she got to start exploring abroad. At this point she's been lucky enough to travel to over 20 countries, and got excited when she realized she needed to buy extra pages for her passport, although the process didn't turn out to be as cheap (or as fun) as she expected.