The Global African Family and the international community have focused their attention and lenses on Ghana as we celebrate the "Year of Return, Ghana 2019" marking 400 years since the first enslaved Africans were shipped from Jamestown, Accra and arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, USA in the year 1619.
We are therefore commemorating the slave trade movement and celebrating African resilience. Despite the focus of the Ghana Tourism Authority on the "Year of Return, Ghana 2019" and other related activities to attract inbound tourists, domestic tourism still leads the way.
The Tourism month as declared by the Ghana Tourism Authority will be celebrated annually every September and aims at providing a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the Ghanaian economy.
Tourism development in Ghana is comprehensively aimed at a broad and desirable range of domestic, sub-regional African and international tourists.
The Government is pursuing quality tourism development that is internationally competitive and compatible with Ghana’s social values and environmental setting. Emphasis is being placed on tourism to help in the conservation of the country’s historical and environmental heritage.
Apart from the economic benefits, tourism is used to present Ghana’s unique cultural, historical and environmental heritage to the international community and to educate Ghanaians about their own heritage. The Government intends to use tourism as an alternative development strategy to help address broad national issues.
The increasing number of tourists and the evolving profile of today's traveller demand a host of new tourism offerings and infrastructure projects. A wide spectrum of investment opportunities arises out of Ghana's long term tourism plans.
it is said that "Charity begins at home". To this end, the Authority initiated moves to whip up interest in domestic tourism and thus was dubbed "See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana". This innovative marketing strategy is to enable Ghanaians to appreciate their tourism, culture and creative arts potential and engender cross-cultural exchange amongst Ghanaians.
It also serves as an opportunity to promote and sustain domestic tourism and create a culture of travel among Ghanaians. The Tourism month aims to encourage Ghanaians to travel domestically to get a better understanding of the hospitable and exciting tourist sites and attractions that are available at their own doorstep.
Available statistics by the Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Department (RME) of the Ghana Tourism Authority indicates that visitations to attraction sites have increased drastically from 2015 to 2018. Some of which include the top ten sites - Kakum National Park, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Cape Coast Castle, Manhyia Palace Museum, Elmina Castle, Kumasi Zoo, Mole National Park, Shai Hills Resource Reserve, Nzulezu and Prempeh ll Jubilee Museum.
The Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture endorses the milieu of festivals as one of the avenues for propagating our national culture for the development and deepening of its Tourism offering.
As a nation, we celebrate festivals because they help us keep connected to our roots, our culture, our values, our origins and to preserve them. Festivals help people to come together to share a sense of enjoyment and relaxation of the time needed to bond with family members whom we never really see often enough. Many festivals are more or less religiously centered and thus at festival times, we come together in joyous thanksgiving to our God and whatever is the source of our faith.
This initiative by the Authority aims at adding colour to our traditional tourism calendar of events in Ghana and diversify our tourism activities and products and consequently increase international tourism arrivals and receipts for our country. In the face of stiff competition with other destinations in Africa and the world at large, it is imperative that we do things right to attract the needed tourists to Ghana in order to rake in the substantial foreign exchange and also derive the full benefits of tourism.
As we celebrate World Tourism Day each year on 27th September, Tourism Month will, therefore, help to generate awareness on the enormous contribution that the Tourism industry makes to national economic growth and development and job creation. This year's theme was "Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future For All".
It is important for the private sector Operators and the industry practitioners to embrace the initiative and drive the agenda in order to boost domestic tourism since the private sector worldwide is considered as the engine of growth and development in any progressive sector.
To the Global African Family and people of African descent, there are lots of investment opportunities also in the tourism industry in Ghana especially in the area of domestic tourism. We urge all to tap these opportunities to harness our tourism potentials and help build our African continent.
In Service to God, Country and Humanity..."Yours truly, the Pan-Africanist"
Longlive "the year of return, Ghana 2019"
Longlive "September as tourism month"
Longlive our homeland, Ghana
Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi
Senior Corporate Affairs Officer
Ghana Tourism Authority