International tourist arrivals to grow by 34.7%

International tourist arrivals to grow by 34.7%
Some passengers at the airport

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), according to the 2022 national budget, is projecting an increase in international tourist arrivals to more than 550,000 this year.

The projection, when reached, will translate to 34.7 percent growth. The GTA and Ghana Immigration Service’s updated data on international arrivals revealed that 411,164 visitors arrived in the country by end of the fourth quarter in 2021. Within the same period, 235,391 domestic visitors to tourism sites were recorded.

However, with ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic subsiding globally, the Tourism Ministry is keeping to its target of bringing in two million international tourists by 2024.

Meanwhile, the GTA and Tourism Ministry are still keen on implementing the Domestic and Regional Tourism Campaign that was launched in June last year to stimulate the local tourism industry.

The 18-month long campaign also targets an ambitious increase in domestic tourist arrivals to 600,000 by end of 2022, and to one million by 2024.

Despite the fact that the pandemic is subsiding, many countries are still being cautious and advising their nationals to be mindful of travel to certain zones across the globe.

Position of the UNWTO on global tourism in 2022

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in its 2022 preliminary travel confidence tourism report, has said the recent rise in COVID-19 cases and the Omicron variant will disrupt travel recovery and affect confidence through early 2022 as some countries reintroduce travel bans and restrictions for certain markets.

At the same time, the UNWTO said the vaccination roll-out remains uneven and many destinations still have their borders completely closed, mostly in Asia and the Pacific.

“A challenging economic environment could put additional pressure on the effective recovery of international tourism, with the surge in oil prices, increase in inflation and potential rise in interest rates, high debt volumes and the continued disruption in supply chains,” the report said.

Global tourism experienced a 4 percent upturn in 2021 compared to 2020 (415 million versus 400 million). However, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) were still 72 percent below the pre-pandemic year of 2019, according to preliminary estimates by UNWTO. This follows on from 2020 – the worst year on record for tourism, when international arrivals decreased by 73 percent.

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