The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has officially unveiled the endorsed events scheduled for the 2022 ‘December in GH’ campaign.
This year’s calendar which includes over 90 events being endorsed by the Beyond the Return Steering Committee would take place from November 2022 to January 2023.
The activities included,
Afrochella, Little Havana, Taste of Ghana, Afro Nation, YouTube Creators Festival, Westside Carnival, Rhythms on da Runway and the Roverman Productions Festival of Plays.
Other new activities added to the calendar included Ada Riverfest, Jollof & Afrobeat Festival, Afrobeats Bazaar, Ghana Water Polo Tournament, Nkyinkyim Museum Freedom Parade and First Time Home Buyers in Ghana Seminar.
The minister unveiled the event during a stakeholder engagement and customer service training for informal caterers organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) in Accra on Monday.
The engagement was to train and build capacity of the informal caterers on preparedness towards the “December in GH” events scheduled for the year.
Speaking at the launch, the minister urged the traditional caterers to sell Ghanaian culture by improving upon the local dishes to woo potential tourists into the
According to the minister, culture was the most dynamic tool for national development and without good culture assets, tourism cannot be sold.
“Culture and tourism are links. Without good culture assets, you cannot sell tourism and our culture is manifested in several things such as food , clothing, language and anything that we exhibits so therefore traditional caterers plays an important role in selling tourist attraction and making Ghana an attractive destination,” he said.
Dr Awal said Ghana had very marketable delicacies but unable to receive global attention due to poor packaging and service delivery.
He entreated the caterers to ensure quality service and make Ghanaian dishes very attractive to be consumed at the international level to boost the country’s tourist receipts.
“Don’t be deceived about the continental dishes. Let’s be proud and sell our authentic Ghanaian foods such as Waakye, Ga Kenkey, Apkele, Banku, Tuo Zaafi, Fufu, Ampesi. The foreigner doesn’t come from America or other places to come and eat fried rice. They are tired of that. They would want to taste our local dishes and this is what we have to portray to them so they can have a feel of it,” he added.
The minister disclosed that, about 100,000 international tourists were expected to arrive into the country ahead of this year’s ‘December in GH’ event.
The Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman said “Ghana was recently listed as one of the top travel destinations by National Geographic and it’s predicted that the country will receive a record number of international travelers this season and we’re are ready to receive everyone.
We have kick-started a series of engagements with our industry stakeholders to ensure that we are all ready. We are encouraging Ghanaians to live up to our reputation as a friendly and hospitable people.”
The Manager of the Beyond the Return Secretariat, Ms Annabelle McKenzie, stated that “We’re expecting this year to be the biggest for ‘December in GH’, “We are excited about welcoming both returning and first-time travellers to Ghana. We’ve endorsed more events that touch on the different pillars for the Beyond the Return initiative.”
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR