Located in the Greater Accra region, Jolinaiko Eco Tours is a Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) licensed tour operator, an accredited member of the Tour Operator Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), and a proud partner of TravelLocal.
In September 2019, Jolinaiko Eco Tours successfully completed a training on Sustainability Export organized by SheTrades Commonwealth in collaboration with TraveLife. As a partner of TraveLife, Jolinaiko Eco Tours prides itself on being an eco-friendly travel agency that is committed to sustainability in tourism.
To co-founders of Jolinaiko Eco Tours, Apollo Panou and Cindy Noordermeer, their Village Lodges best encapsulate their commitment to sustainability in tourism. In its Cashew Village Lodge in Atsiekpoe (literally: “home of the cashew tree”), eco-lodging arrangement involves staying in mud-brick/termite clay buildings equipped with self-composting toilets, local-style kitchen, and a simple bathhouse (i.e. bucket shower).
Importantly, Jolinaiko includes the village community in delivering an authentic Atsiekpoe experience: guests get to participate in basket weaving under the supervision of local weavers, go on fishing trips with the local fisherman using wooden canoes and woven traps, or simply learn drumming and dancing from members of the local Ewe tribe. Jolinaiko contributes part of its profits into a Community Fund, which is dedicated to the development of the village – development priorities are decided by community leaders and have involved improvements to sanitary conditions and access to potable water, as well as building of a community centre.
According to the Managing Director of Jolinaiko Eco Tours, Cindy Noordermeer-Panou, since joining the UK-DFID funded project, the company has gained plenty of exposure from participating in international trade fairs WTM London and Cape Town in 2019. The eco-tour operator also participated in a workshop on branding and marketing and was selected to undergo a sustainability coaching programme delivered by SheTrades’ partner, TraveLife.
“SheTrades has given us a lot of high-level networking opportunities and exposure that has helped us professionalize,” said Mrs. Noordermeer-Panou.