150,000 Tourists to arrive by December

BY: Rejoice Lavinia Eklu
 Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (2nd from left), the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture,  and Mr Akwasi Agyeman (3rd from left), the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, with some staff members of the GTA and the Beyond the Return Secretariat after the briefing
Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal (2nd from left), the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and Mr Akwasi Agyeman (3rd from left), the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, with some staff members of the GTA and the Beyond the Return Secretariat after the briefing

The country expects 150,000 tourist arrivals between now and December this year, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has announced.

“Ghana is getting more tourist arrivals in recent days. I think it is because of the drastic measures the government has put in place,” he said.

Dr Awal observed that the tourism sector was gradually recovering from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, from which the sector lost over GH¢8 billion in terms of earnings over the past one and a half years.

Press briefing

He was speaking at a press briefing organised by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) to update the media on plans being made to host this year’s ‘December In Gh’ as part of activities to celebrate ‘Beyond the Return’.

‘December In Gh’ is a tourism product launched by the GTA to drive people to Ghana during the festive seasons.

Dr Awal said the National Gallery Museum, which had been closed for eight years, would be opened to visitors on December 28.

He appealed to the media to support the country in its tourism drive, saying “tourism cannot grow without the support of the media”.

Safety protocol

The Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, indicated that although the COVID-19 still lingered, the authority was putting in place effective measures to make sure the country hosted the ‘December in Gh’ in a good environment where adherence to COVID-19 protocol would not be compromised.

He noted that visitors who would come to the country would take the PCR test for COVID-19, adding that participants at the ‘December in Gh’ event would have to show their vaccination cards before entering event grounds.

At every event, he said, the COVID-19 task force, in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, would enforce the social distancing rule.

“We are working under the auspices of the Tourism Ministry to ensure protocols are strictly observed,” Mr Agyeman stressed.

Event calendar

He indicated that some event organisers had already registered their interest in participating in the ‘December In Gh’ as event hosts.

He mentioned Afrochella, the Polo Beach Club and the Taste in Ghana as some of the event organisers that registered.

He indicated that the GTA would put the calendar out for event organisers to secure slots on it.

“By December 1, the full list of the events will be displayed on the authority’s website and other key designated websites,” Mr Agyeman added.