Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi

On September 27, World Tourism Day will be celebrated globally under the auspices of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

This year’s theme, “Tourism and Rural Development” touches on rural communities and their role and potential for tourism development and is a strong reminder and opportunity to expand tourism reach by turning to our rural communities.

Ghana tourism made great strides in the year 2019, by virtue of the Year of Return Campaign, however, the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted negatively on the industry.

Its harsh effects on the tourism industry include a delay in the launch and roll out of the Beyond the Return activities, a general downturn in the sector’s performance, massive and unanticipated loss of revenue and jobs.

Some of the major short and long-term measures put in place by President Nana Akufo-Addo for the robust recovery and growth of the tourism industry include: a $4 million and $5 million Grant facility for the development of tourism sites and to support MSMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector.

A ¢3 Billion facility with a moratorium on repayment and a reduced interest rate for the big players in specific industries including the hospitality sector.

Re-energizing the Ghana Tourism Authority’s See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana and Feel Ghana campaign, implement the Beyond the Return initiative; a follow-up to the successful Year of Return campaign.

Establishment of a National Heritage Committee in collaboration with UNESCO to develop strategies, policies and programmes.

The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture pledges its continuous support for the promotion and development of tourism in Ghana.

It also expresses appreciation and commends all the various practitioners in the tourism, arts and culture sector; who have in these difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic remained committed to retaining Ghana on the competitive international tourism map as the preferred tourism destination in West Africa.