The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) have earmarked activities and events under ‘December in GH’ flagship programme to consolidate government’s plan and quest to attract one million international tourists’ arrivals into the country this year.
In April this year, President Akufo-Addo launched ‘Destination Ghana’ in London with the objective of inviting and welcoming some one million international tourists into Ghana.
‘December in GH’, a foremost collation of events and activities to herald the end of year, has been an important date on the calendar of the GTA and the ministry since 2019.
Addressing dignitaries at the launch of ‘December in GH’ in Accra, Tourism Minister Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said: “Considering the fact that the second-half of each year is the peak period for international arrivals, government is optimistic that the target of one million international tourist arrivals will be achieved based on what has been achieved in the first-half. By end of December, we’ll add up the 600,000”.
He said events such as Afrochella, Afro Nation, Essence, Taste of Ghana, Rhythm on the Runway, Rapperholic, Bhim Nation, among several others would help drive tourists into the country.
“Let us therefore be warm toward the visitors as they come here. We must also prepare adequately to receive the increasing number of tourists through effective customer care,” he appealed.
Mentioning other key contributors to the one million target, Dr. Awal said the National Museum, which was recently rehabilitated and modernized, has recorded over 14,000 visitors in just six weeks against an attendance of 12,874 for the whole of 2015 prior to its closure.
Dr. Awal also announced that government is concluding plans to build a US$10million ultra-modern tourism and hospitality training school in Accra as part of schemes to further drive students from the sub-region to study in Ghana.
GTA’s CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, stated that the ‘December in GH’ concept has become a brand which must be leveraged to signify and deepen Ghana’s hospitality credentials in the sub-region and the continent.
“We started the ‘December in GH’ events on the sidelines of the ‘Year of Return’ 2019, and currently, it has become a flagship event on our calendar, as both Ghanaians and the Diaspora look forward to participating on annual basis,” Mr. Agyeman stated.
He said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions globally has also boosted optimism for participation in the events that would later be selected as part of the initiative.
Key participants in the launch include a delegation of some 80 members of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), led by its CEO, Derrick Johnson.