Caleb Worladem Coblah’s thoughts … Investing in tourism

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The tourism industry, which is often referred to as an “invisible export”, is significant in the economic and social development of a country. The American news network CNN rankled Ghana the fourth out of nineteen countries as top destinations in the world to visit.

Traditionally developing countries such as Ghana have relied heavily on international tourist arrivals, often at the expense of promoting domestic tourism. In spite of this, domestic tourism has grown so rapidly to become one of the world foremost economic phenomena.

A significant number of countries in Africa have already realized the potentially positive economic impacts of domestic tourism and have taken steps to develop and implement domestic tourism strategies.

Such a strategy has however not yet been formulated in Ghana, in spite of the fact that, according to the available statistics, domestic tourism in Ghana has considerable growth potential. Stakeholders including tourism representative bodies, tour operators, hotels, lodges, attraction facilities, travel agents and other relevant stakeholders should invest more in domestic tourism.

However, there is a need to develop a participative and integrated domestic tourism strategy that will enable the industry to tap this market potential in a sustainable and competitive manner.

Key recommendations emanating focus on the identification and prioritization of preferred destinations and attractions for the domestic market; the need to ensure accessible and affordable transport to tourist attractions and routes; and the importance of ensuring value for money and affordability of the current offerings to current and prospective domestic tourists.

Based on study, marketing guidelines are proposed that can lead to an increase in domestic tourism business capacity and enhance Ghana’s overall tourism sustainable competitiveness.

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