The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has officially launched its 50th anniversary celebrations commencing this week across the country, highlighting its remarkable impact and growth in the tourism space.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, during the launch recognised the efforts and sacrifices of people who have contributed in diverse ways to improve the Authority as he discussed the performance of Ghana’s tourism sector.
Mr. Agyeman announced significant growth in the country’s tourism sector during the launch. According to him, Ghana experienced a 47percent increase in international arrivals – from 623,523 in 2021 to 914,892 in 2022; outperforming most African countries which were doing 65 percent of pre-pandemic levels while Ghana did 81 percent.
He reiterated that this achievement is only plausible courtesy of ‘Legacy initiatives’ by the Akufo-Addo-led administration.
“This is a testament to the success of the many strategies we put in place: such as the ‘Destination Ghana’ campaign launched by H.E. the President, and our continuing effort through the ‘Beyond the Return’ project to become the African diaspora’s Mecca,” he said.
Mr. Agyeman also reported that the domestic tourism sector also recorded an impressive growth of 55 percent in domestic tourism, from 588,946 in 2021 to 937,087 in 2022. He believes that: “Ghanaians are discovering the beauty of our country and choosing to explore their own backyard, which is great news for the local economy. Tourist sites such as Aburi Botanical Gardens, the Kumasi Zoo and Kakum National Park all showed strong performance”.
He also highlighted GTA’s commitment as he promised continual and significant efforts to improve the tourism industry, including infrastructure improvements that will enhance the visitor experience and make it easier for tourists to access the many attractions which Ghana has to offer.
The GTA boss intimated that work has started on several projects: including the Aburi Botanical Gardens, Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum, Yaa Asantewaa Museum and the Pikworo Slave Camp among others.
“MoUs were signed with some 13 communities for project upgrades. This is in line with the new Legislative Instrument LI 2393 on Tourist sites and attractions. In the year, we undertook a sensitisation exercise for all players in the industry,” he added.
Mr. Agyeman further commended the private sector for investing in the tourism industry, and expressed the Ghana Tourism Authority’s commitment to promoting Ghana as a top tourist destination.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal who graced the occasion, congratulated GTA and its CEO for pushing beyond the limit. He however tasked the authority to attract a total of 1.2 million visitors by end of the year.
Activities for the GTA @50 anniversary are set to include industry games, an awards and dinner night, a presidential summit on rethinking Ghana’s tourism, and familiarisation trips among other exciting activities. The Authority called on all stakeholders and Ghanaians to join them in the celebration.