The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched the 2020 edition of the “December in Ghana” event.
The GTA launched the December in GH campaign to create an experience that will focus on showcasing Ghana as a global destination for the Christmas and New Year celebration with events highlighting Ghana’s unique role as an epicentre for culture and entertainment.
It will involve a series of activities from December 17, 2020, to January 3, 2021, cutting across a wide range of both outdoor, indoor, hybrid and virtual events.
“December in Ghana” is an initiative under the “Beyond the Return Project.”
The CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman said in an interview that, “Ghana will be lucky to have recorded more than 400,000 visitors by the end of the year 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Effect of pandemic
Unveiling the events in Accra last Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, stated that this year’s event was originally meant to compete with last year’s activities.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, the authority had been forced to adjust and adapt, and as a result, this year’s activities had been carefully selected, evaluated and strictly subjected to the necessary protocols in order not to compromise the national health situation.
“Since the reopening of the airport in September, we’ve seen a gradual increase in the inflow into the country, and our domestic travel promotion is also picking up. This is because people who ordinarily would’ve gone outside the country to celebrate Christmas are now patronising our domestic tour sites,” Mr Agyemang indicated.
He expressed optimism that the activities would help the country to recoup losses made as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions and the ban on international travels.
Providing the operational guidelines for the activities, the CEO for GTA said all the activities would be managed by personnel of only accredited agencies in order not to compromise the health protocols.
He said venues would operate at 50 per cent capacity to ensure that the one-metre social distancing rule was adhered to.
He said health and safety officers should also be appointed for every event to ensure that the health and social distancing protocols were strictly followed.
In addition, Mr Agyemang said venues would have to be disinfected before set-up, adding that the event organisers must agree with the relevant authorities on general standards and accredited companies to offer such services.
He said there must be mandatory checking of temperature with infrared thermometer before entry, as well as the display of “no mask, no entry” signage at such venues.
He said guest attendance should also be strictly by invitation, and their contact details and residential addresses taken for possible contact tracing.
The Deputy CEO of GTA in charge of Operations, Mr Ekow Sampson, indicated that the initiative was a new tourism product expected to drive people into the country.
He said it would complement the flagship programmes of the GTA, namely WearGhana, EatGhana and FeelGhana, to showcase Ghana’s attractions, cuisines and customs.
“December in Ghana” has come to stay, and it is truly adding up to the numbers in terms of tourism arrivals and receipts. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the tourism industry globally, we are hoping to bounce back by observing all the protocols,” Mr Sampson stated.