Ghana is expecting about 150,000 tourists’ arrivals between October and December for the ‘December in Ghana’ which forms part of activities of the “Beyond the Return.”
The ‘December in Ghana’ programmes is expected to have tourists mostly from the Americas, United Kingdom, Nigeria, Germany, China, Netherlands and other countries.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said these at a press briefing in Accra yesterday.
According to Dr Awal, the country was expecting a rise in tourism adding that “as at now we have achieved about 70 per cent of our target for this year.”
He described last year as appalling for tourism and that the ministry was aiming at doubling its figures for 2020 this year.
He indicated that Ghana was getting more tourists arrivals than any other West African countries as at today and it was due to the policies put in place by the government.
“By December we would have vaccinated close to 20 million people out of 31 million people that would be a significant number,” he said.
Mr Awal reiterated that the country was expecting to get 600,000 tourist arrivals by close of the year, which was a 100 per cent increase over that of last year.
The minister said it was also hoping to generate 250,000 jobs from domestic and international tourism adding that the tourism sector has the potential to employ a lot of people.
He said the ministry’s domestic tourism drive was targeting one million people over the next one year explaining that “by June next year we should have one million domestic tourists within the country”.
On December 2 and 3 this year, Dr Awal said the ministry would launch “Destination Ghana “in America, to help attract tourist from December to March next year.
He said it was the hope of the country to make Ghana a preferred destination for all foreign nationals
The minister indicated that measures were being taken to improve on tourism attractions in the country stating that such measure included the opening of the national gallery museum which had been closed for eight years.
Also, he stated that five cultural centres will be inaugurated next year across the country explaining that without a good cultural asset, there could not be an effective tourism.
He said the cultural centres provide avenues for the indigenes to showcase the country’s culture such as drumming and dancing and other activities they do.
“We hope to move tourism from the fourth position in terms of its GDP contribution to the first by 2024,” he added.
The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Akwasi Agyeman said in order to ensure the safety of tourists, safety protocols would be put in place at all tourist destinations in the country.
He said the “Beyond the Return “secretariat was working closely with coronavirus disease (COVID-19) taskforce and also engaging with other stakeholders to ensure the safety of tourists.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR