Ghana recorded more than 400,000 international arrivals in the first half of this year, said Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.
This, he said, goes against the target of one million tourists expected for the whole of 2022.
The Minister revealed this at the launch of this year’s ‘December in Ghana’ event in Accra yesterday.
“December in Ghana” aimed to promote tourism and make Ghana the global destination for Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Dr Awal said that considering that the second half of each year was the peak period for international arrivals, the target of one million tourists would be achieved.
“Events such as Afro Nation, Afrochella and Essence among others would help attract tourists to Ghana,” he added.
He revealed that the National Museum which was recently rehabilitated and modernized had also recorded over 14,000 visitors in just six weeks compared to a figure of 12,874 for the whole of 2015 before it closed in 2016.
Dr. Awal noted that Ghana’s tourism sector has the potential to contribute significantly to national economic transformation, adding that “the country is not only endowed with a rich and diverse culture, but is also home to some of the best flora and wildlife in the world’s most exquisite ecotourism sites.”
He reiterated that the government is committed to establishing a state-of-the-art, $10 million tourism and hospitality training school in Accra, which is due to start next year.
The training school which would be funded under the Ghana Tourism Development Project with the support of the World Bank, according to the minister, would provide training to people in the tourism and hospitality value chain to improve customer service practices in hotels in the sub-region.
“Ghana and Africa need to show the world their best in order to attract much-needed investment and jobs for young people. We are committed to building a thriving tourism economy where hospitality, arts and culture are used as tools for economic development. ,” he added.
The Managing Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, said that “December in Ghana”, which has become one of the biggest activations in the tourism sector, has not only helped boost the economy, but had also made Ghana the “go-to”. ‘ destination in December and the rest of the year.
He expressed his appreciation for the many new activities planned for this year’s December in Ghana event, indicating that some of the activities would include; African Legends Night, the Bloggers Festival, Bukom Boxing Fiesta, the Ga Mashie Jams and returning events such as Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Joyful Way, Westside Carnival, Kids in Tourism, GT Bank Concert, Y Havoc, the Samba Festivals among others.
He urged Ghanaians to support the initiative by participating in the planned activities and, in fact, help to make the Christmas party in Ghana a unique attraction both locally and internationally.