Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast tomorrow — Discussions to focus on Ghana’s tourism potential
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Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast tomorrow — Discussions to focus on Ghana’s tourism potential

The first in the series of the quarterly Graphic Business/Stanbic Breakfast Meeting comes off tomorrow at the Labadi Beach Hotel.

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On the theme: 'Tourism the Golden Egg, a Shared Responsibility', the highly anticipated event is expected to attract leaders in the tourism value chain, captains of industry, business leaders, academia among many others.

Three speakers will lead the discussions around the theme with the view to arriving are ways by which the country can consolidate and enhance its tourism potential for rapid economic growth.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyemang, will discuss the topic ‘Transportation Potential of Tourism in the Global Context’.

On the topic of the Tourism Value Chain and its Role in Boosting Rural Livelihoods, the Managing Director (MD) of Labadi Beach Hotel, David Eduaful, will be on hand to delve into the intricacies of how tourism boosts rural livelihoods.

A senior Partner at PriceWaterCoopers, Abeku Gyan Quansah, will deal with Innovative Policies of Taxes to Enhance the Tourism Sector.

Government’s commitment to tourism

The government this year had committed over GH¢400 million to provide new tourist attraction sites, while renovating existing ones, according to the Ministry of Finance.

These tourist attractions include the construction of museums and rehabilitating attraction sites, such as the Shai Hills, Mole National Park, Cape Coast, and Elmina Castles.

According to the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the government had this year targeted two million tourist arrivals with each tourist expected to spend an average of $3,000, which would automatically generate $6 million contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Year of Return

In 2018, the President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, proclaimed 2019 as the Year of Return to commemorate 400 years since the transatlantic slave trade.

The initiative sought to invite the African diaspora and people of African descent from all over the world to visit Ghana and reconnect with their roots. The invitation was open to all, regardless of their nationality, race or background.

The Year of Return initiative had a profound impact on Ghana's tourism sector.

According to the Ghana Tourism Authority, the number of tourists visiting Ghana in 2019 increased by 45 per cent compared to the previous year, with an estimated revenue of $3.3 billion. 

This significant increase in tourist arrivals directly stimulated local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants and transportation services, creating more job opportunities for Ghanaians and boosting the overall economy.

Moreover, the Year of Return played a crucial role in promoting Ghana's rich cultural heritage and history. Many tourists visited historical sites, such as the Cape Coast Castle and Elmina Castle, which were major hubs for the slave trade during colonial times.

These sites offered a glimpse into the painful past while allowing visitors to pay their respects to their ancestors. The increased interest in Ghana's history led to a renewed appreciation of African cultures and traditions, not only among the diaspora but also among international tourists.

The Year of Return also had a positive impact on various social aspects in Ghana. With the influx of visitors, there was increased interaction and cultural exchange between Ghanaians and the diaspora.

This exchange allowed Ghanaians to reconnect with their African brothers and sisters living abroad and fostered a sense of unity and solidarity. 

The exchange of ideas, traditions and knowledge contributed to the enrichment of both Ghanaian society and the diaspora.

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