About 150,000 tourists are expected to travel to Ghana this December to enjoy the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality and to have fun and leisure.
December is the month Ghana receives the highest number of visitors.
Africa Americans account for 60% tourists to Ghana
The US accounts for over 60% of international tourists to Ghana who are mainly Africa Americans.
Other countries where tourists come from
It is followed by Nigeria, United Kingdom, France, Germany and China in that order.
Events include Afrochella, Afro nation, Essence, Taste of Ghana
The tourists come to revel in many events like Afrochella, Afro nation, Essence, Taste of Ghana among many others.
Minister for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said this during the launch of the 2022 edition of the annual ‘December in Gh’, programme, an initiative that brings diasporans together characterised by various activities.
“December in Gh” is to get Ghanaians and the diaspora, people of African descent to come to Ghana and help invest in the economy and get to know more about the country, regarding the Ghanaians heritage, traditions, arts, culture, and visit tourist sites to help boost tourism
It is to create an experience that will focus on showcasing Ghana as a global destination for the Christmas and New Year celebration with events highlighting Ghana’s unique role as an epicentre for culture and entertainment.
The vision is to have events that can bring together the global African community to celebrate the holiday season in Ghana.
For the past three years since ‘December in GH’ programme was launched, Ghana has become the place to be during Christmas.
Ghana is a diverse and beautiful country with so many places to explore and therefore, every December, Accra becomes the cultural hotspot of Africa with so many events, and thousands from the diaspora spending their holidays in the country.
“Beyond The Return” initiative
“December in GH”, a programme under “Beyond The Return” secretariat is to be experienced not only in the capital city, but across the country.
“Beyond the Return” is a ten-year initiative with the theme, “A Decade of African Renaissance,” with seven pillars as its foundation.
Each of the pillars is significant to the mission of continued engagement with the diaspora community as well as continental Africans.
7 pillars of “Beyond The Return”
The seven pillars are: Experience Ghana, Celebrate Ghana, Give Back Ghana, Invest in Ghana, Brand Ghana, Diaspora Pathways to Ghana and Promote Pan African Heritage and Innovation.
Ghanaians in the diaspora return home
Dr Awal explained that December is the month in which the Ghanaian diaspora return home to visit family and friends, enjoy festivities and reintegrate into the Ghanaian culture.
“It is also a period where we record high numbers of historical diaspora and international tourists visit to Ghana to the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality and to have fun and leisure.
“The last few years since the launch of the ‘December in GH’ initiative, the country has seen more Ghanaians and Africans in the diaspora making that trip back home for the holiday season to enjoy their time with family and friends.
“Each year, those numbers have increased and we are looking forward to another successful campaign,’ Dr Awal said.
He said the country is determined to build a thriving tourism economy where hospitality, arts, and culture become tools for economic development.
Quoting the World Bank, he said two out of every ten jobs in the world are generated by the tourism sector.
The sector Minister said both the Year of Return and Destination Ghana as President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo launched them have made contributions to the country’s tourism drive as a record number of tourists are visiting Ghana.
1.1 million visitors in 2019
He said in 2019, 1.1 million visitors came to Ghana following the launch of the ‘Year of Return’ and available data indicate that the first half of 2022 has recorded over 400,000 international arrivals against the country’s target of welcoming one million for 2022.
“Considering the fact that the second half of each year is the peak period for international arrivals, the target of one million tourists would be achieved,” he said noting that events like Afrochella and Afro nation among others will help drive tourists to Ghana.
Dr Awal urged the tourism and hospitality sector to get prepared adequately to receive the increasing number of tourists through effective customer care as the easing of the COVID-19 restrictions and the resumption of international travel had paved the way for increased tourism locally and internationally.
He said the country is not only gifted with rich and diverse culture but also serves as home to some best flora and fauna in the most exquisite ecotourism sites of the world.
The Minister commended the 80 members of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) led by Mr Derrick Johnson, who is visiting the country both for tourism and humanitarian services to some communities in Ghana.
President of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) Mr. Derrick Johnson to Ghana receive a citation.
Rehabilitated National Museum now seeing massive visitation
Dr Awal said the National Museum which was recently rehabilitated and modernised has recorded more than 14,000 visitors in just six weeks as against total visits of 12,874 for the whole of 2015 before its closure in 2016.
‘December in Gh’ touches on tourism, arts, and culture
In his remark, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyemang said ‘December in Gh’ is one of the biggest activations in the country’s tourism sector and one that touches on the three pillars of the ministry – tourism, arts, and culture.
He said many of the events associated with the ‘December in Gh’ are central to pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative as the Authority continues to engage the historical diaspora community.
Mr Agymang said the success of ‘December in Gh’ is unprecedented and has been an important part of not only boosting the economy but also branding Ghana as the destination of choice in the last of the year.
He said many new activities have been planned for this year including Africa Legends night, the Bloggers Festival, the Bukom Boxing Fiesta, the Ga Mashie Jams, and all the returning events like Westside Carnival and Kids in Tourism, among many others.
Source ; The Finder Newspaper