Actor John Dumelo is calling for Ghanaians to put in extra measures to ensure the sustainability of the Beyond the Return initiative.
He said many African Americans have seen all there is to see during the 2019 Year of Return, including visiting some of Ghana’s treasured sites, hence the need for new inventions in the tourism industry.
“The question is, what will make them come back again this year? We need to re-invent tourism in Ghana.” John Dumelo wrote on his Twitter handle.
He explained that adding on to some of these sites can compel the diasporans to witness the country over again.
“We need to add more and develop new sites to make “them” come back.”
Ok so we are done with year of return, lots of people come, went to Capecoast Castle, Elmina and Kakum etc. The question is, what will make them come back again this year? We need to re-invent tourism in Ghana. We need to add more and develop new sites to make “them” come back.
— MrDumelo (@johndumelo1) January 26, 2020
The road to Beyond the Return
President Akufo Addo in September 2018 formally launched the Year of Return initiative intended to commemorate 400 years since the first enslaved Africans touched down in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States.
The program in 2019 made Ghana a key travel destination for many African Americans and the African diaspora.
Many celebrities including Anthony Anderson, Boris Kodjoe, Naomi Campbell, Steve Harvey, Nicole Ari Parker, Kofi Kingston, Ludacris, Michael Jai White, T.I and others, came to Ghana to explore more about their past.
The Ghana Tourism Authority said it spent about ¢6 million in marketing ‘Year of Return’ both locally and internationally.
Deputy Tourism Minister, Dr Iddi Ziblim, in an interview with Joy News’ Raymond Acquah, also said that thanks to the Year of Return initiative, the tourism ministry altogether $1.9 billion to for the economy.
Before 2019 ended, many Ghanaians including the North Tongu Member of Parliament, praised the government for it’s Year of Return declaration.
According to Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the initiative has placed the country in the good graces of Africans in the diaspora and raised the reputation of the country.