Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has announced the official opening of a Tourism and Cultural hub in New York to serve the North American Market and help promote tourism to Ghana.
He made the announcement at a Destination Ghana Networking event that was held in New York City on 18th September 2022.
The event – a collaboration between the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority and Ghana Investment Promotion Centre – brought together business leaders and leaders of the African diaspora community to network and learn more about the opportunities for tourism, business and investment in Ghana. The event also served as an opportunity to engage with the community and learn more about what their needs are when travelling to Ghana.
“The US is very important to Ghana in areas of culture and tourism,” Hon. Awal said. The United States accounts for the largest number of tourists that visit Ghana annually, making it a significant place for marketing to Ghana. “We’re going to open a Cultural and Tourism office in New York next year to serve as the tool and vehicle to drive culture and tourism between the US and Ghana. By March next year it will happen, and I can assure you that it will help facilitate all the issues of our tourism and culture.”
Members of the Ghanaian delegation included Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority; Yofi Grant, CEO-Ghana Investment Promotion Centre; Ekow Sampson, Deputy CEO-Ghana Tourism Authority; Annabelle McKenzie, Director-Beyond the Return Secretariat.
The event was graced by Rocky Dawuni, Grammy-nominated artist; Barkue Tubman, Chief of Staff-Essence Communications; Jerry Adinkra, Cultural and Tourism Ambassador; and members of the Ghanaian and historical diaspora community. The event was well-attended and also featured cultural performances.
“We are building a Ghana brand that will be a hub for tourism and culture in West Africa. We need your support to build that Ghana brand and drive a lot of tourists from New York to Ghana every year,” Dr. Awal said. The Consul General of the Ghana Mission in New York, Mr. Atta Boafo, assured the gathering that processes for obtaining visas will be simplified; and also confirmed that Ghanaians abroad can use both their Ghanaian and US passports with ease when travelling to and from Ghana.
Akwasi Agyeman highlighted the activities lined up for December in Ghana this year, which include Afrochella, Taste of Ghana, AfroNation, Little Havanna, Detty Rave among others, and invited the African Diaspora to be part of the occasion.
The minister also assured everyone that important tourist sites are undergoing renovations and will be modernised to create a better travel experience. Earlier this year, the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Museum were closed for renovations. Hon. Awal said it will reopen next year. “We will have a fully furnished and modernised Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park by March of next year,” he said. “The museum is being expanded and refurbished.”
The minister’s announcement was part of the Destination Ghana Networking event in New York. The Destination Ghana campaign was launched earlier this year in London, UK, to promote Ghana as a tourism destination worldwide. Hinged on the fact that Ghana is at the centre of the world, the campaign builds off the strength of Ghana’s Year of Return campaign which encouraged the Diaspora to come to Ghana and helped boost international arrivals to over 1.1 million in 2019.