Mark Okraku Mantey

The Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey has said the country expects to receive over 150,000 tourists between now and the festive season for the ‘December in GH’ initiative.

The ‘December in GH’ initiative is one the activities launched by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to mark the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative which is also aimed at boosting the country’s economy through tourism.

Speaking in an interview on Day Break Hitz on Thursday, the Deputy Tourism Minister stated that more investors and businesses are expected to troop into the country during the festive seasons.

He indicated also this is another way to market Ghana’s rich potentials in tourism to the global market and also aid the sector in contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.

“We are looking for about 150,000 people entering the country. The reason why we are looking for the 150,000 people is that we want the Tourism, Arts and Culture industry to lead in contributing to the GDP of this country.”

“We must take some decisions, and one of them is what we are doing and that is why the Minister is in New York now; the bottom-line is profit for private sector so that the private sector can pay taxes to government,” he told Andy Dosty.

Despite the ravaging effects of the coronavirus pandemic on travels, the Ministry says it is embarking on a number of activities from now to the Christmas season to attract foreign investments.

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) earlier outdoored new activities as part of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative after engaging event organisers.

These include AfroChella, the Polo Beach Club, Rethemes on the Runway, GUBA Awards, Taste of Ghana, Quanza in Ghana and The Diaspora Transition Conference.

Director of the ‘Beyond the Return Secretariat’, Annabelle McKenzie, in a press release noted that there will be events across all the regions to give travellers the opportunity to explore other parts of the country.

Mark Okraku Mantey explained that these events have been approved by President Akufo-Addo, yet, there will be strict adherence to all COVID-19 protocols.

Visitors would be required to present their vaccination cards before they will be permitted to get access to event venues.

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