‘Beyond the Return’ lost GH¢2.1bn to COVID-19

Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi

Data from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) have shown that the nation has lost some GH¢2.1billion due effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s 2020 flagship tourism project ‘Beyond The Return’.

Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the sector’s minister, said the nation had projected to make more than the GH¢3.3billion estimated to have accrued from the ‘Year of Return’ initiative last year; but ‘Beyond The Return’ is struggling to make GH¢1.1billion at the end of 2020 per records on her table.

She explained that the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative was looking to bring in more than the 1 million tourists who came to Ghana for the ‘Year of Return’ initiative; but with arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, the projection had to be revised to 400,000 – which has led to a significant drop in the value of revenues expected.

“This year, we are now projecting that our tourist numbers may hover around 400,000 bythe end of the year, and this will give us GH¢1.179billion. Last year, we had over 1 million tourists who were able to inject GH¢3.3billion, but due to the pandemic we have to settle for less,” she said when her ministry took its turn at the Meet the Press series.

Furthermore, she added, following successful implementation of the Year of Return initiative, the ministry has recognised the need for continuously carrying out such activities to sustain the country’s Diaspora relationship and build on positive impacts of the ‘Year of Return’ initiative.

‘Beyond the Return’ is based on seven pillars: Experience Ghana; Invest in Ghana; Brand Ghana; Celebrate Ghana; Pathway to Ghana; Give Back to Ghana; and Improve Tourism and Heritage Assets. Representatives from 10 institutions have been mandated to ensure a successful execution of the campaign.

These institutions include: The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority, Diaspora Affairs-Office of the President, Ghana Investment Promotion Council, PANAFEST Foundation, African American Association of Ghana (AAAG), Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ghana Police Service, and Ghana Immigration Service.

The pillars, she stated, are aimed at establishing strong connections with the diaspora community and also serving as a fulcrum for attracting investors into the country. Ms. Oteng Gyasi, added that the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative will help to cement Ghana’s relationship with Africans around the world.

According to her, the ‘Beyond The Return’ project will cement Ghana’s relationship with the global African family and rest of the African continent by giving Ghana a competitive edge in attracting diasporans and international tourists into the country.


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