The Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana has identified five countries for Ghana to grant e-visas to in order to facilitate access to visas, and boost the tourism industry.
There has never been a better time to reopen the conversation on the need for Ghana to switch to an electronic visa system.
In August 2019, the Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana (CTI Ghana) started the conversation on “Necessity Innovation and e-visas; Why it is Urgent for Ghana”.
CTI Ghana shed light on the seven African countries out of the twenty-four countries in the world that offer e-visas.
Reasons why it would be in Ghana’s best interest to join Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe as e-visa granting countries were given, using Sri Lanka as a case for how a nation can revamp its failing tourism industry by simply granting e-visas.
The Sri Lanka example also allows for a look at the importance of strategic marketing of a nation to select countries, and how it can effect a boost in the influx of tourists- of up to 54% in the case of Sri Lanka.
With the current Presidency’s focus on the digitisation of the economy, led by the Vice President, Mahamudu Bawumia, it was expected that Ghana would have made the move to e-visas by now, and even ahead of the Year of Return activities.
Dr. Bawumia made the announcement on the government’s move to digitize visas during the first Regional Congress on Women Empowerment in the Tourism sector in Ghana. Several months later, however, there has been no visible progress on digitizing visas in Ghana.
The CEO of the Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana, Prince Ntiamoah Boampong, speaking on e-visas, added that: “After the Year of Return and its added gains, one of the challenges expressed by visitors was the difficulty in securing Ghanaian visas abroad.
“In order to encourage the tourism sector to boom after Covid-19, electronic visas will help travellers cut costs of travels to embassies abroad, as well as delays. If there is even a 20% increase in visits due to e-visas that will mean a lot to us as an industry, and to the government as well”
As the rest of the world has in recent times become more digital than ever before, as part of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no better time than now to have an efficient e-visa system.
The Chamber for Tourism Industry has identified five countries which should be granted e-visas, and to which Ghana should focus heavily on marketing, as in the case of Sri Lanka.
1. China: because of their large numbers and economic power. Almost every week two billionaires are created in China.
2. Finland: According to the World Atlas, in a year, one person travels more than seven times.
3. United States: is also the second highest in terms of travelers around the world. One person travels more than 6 times a year.
4. Sweden: Swedish has 6 total trips per person in a year.
5. Denmark: The Danish average 5.30 trips per individual every year.
CTI Ghana is convinced that having e-visas granted to these countries in particular, will facilitate an easy process for tourists, and raise Ghana’s tourism industry to unprecedented heights.