Ghana is working on a marketing strategy that has the potential to increase its estimated US market arrivals by 107,000 tourists next year.
The strategy, including the recently launched ‘Year of Return, Ghana 2019’ programme to mark 400 years since the first slave ship landed in America with slaves from Africa, is expected to increase inbound tourism from US to Ghana from 243,000 tourists to about 350,000 within the year, says Akwasi Agyemang, CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
He estimates that the programme will help generate revenues of approximately USD $771 million at the current average tourist spend of $2,203.
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The ‘Right To Return, Ghana 2019’ is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the global African family, home and abroad, to mark the year. The Ghana Tourism Authority, under the auspices of the sector Ministry, is leading the project in collaboration with the Office of Diasporan Affairs, Office of the President, the PANAFEST Foundation and Adinkra Group, a US-based group.
Justifying the strategy, the GTA boss said it will help position Ghana as the key destination for the diasporan market and tap into the growing American travel market.
“For Ghana, to remain competitive,” he said, “we need to spend on direct marketing initiatives. This project, therefore, presents a perfect platform to Position Ghana as the leading destination for heritage tourists from the USA and the Carribeans”.
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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture have begun a process of inter-ministerial consultation to streamline the programme of activities and policy initiatives of the Year of Return.
Among the collaborators are the Ministry of Interior – for the purpose of easing up visa acquisition and immigration processes; Ministry of Foreign Affairs – to coordinate the participation of Ghanaian missions abroad, and Ministry of Aviation – to promote charter flights and Ministry of Finance for working on an investment regime for potential Investor
The ‘Year of Return’ programme was launched in Accra last August and in Washington on September 24.
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The International Steering Committee is chaired by Akwasi Awua Ababio and the members include Reginald Laryea, an advertising and marketing guru, Prof Esi Sutherland Addy and Rabbi Kohain, both of the PANAFEST Foundation and Diallo Sumbry, of the US-based Adkinra Group.
The GTA is represented by its CEO, together with Ben Anane Nsiah and Mrs. Roberta Dawson Amoah.