Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) says domestic tourism has grown by 47 percent over the last two to three years.
He said the Authority was, however, hopeful that with efforts, initiative, dedication, and collaborations as well as the partnership model they were beginning to build, and with more people coming into the country, by close of the year the number would increase.
“This year in December we are trying to get more of the events outside Accra so that we can get people who come into the country to travel around. The travel around Ghana is what is really impacting the sector because they would stay in hotels, eat local foods, buy cloths and all other things.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Agyeman said for 2018, they had about 600,000 people traveling within Ghana and last year that went to 937, 000, representing about 47 percent growth, saying “domestic tourism is growing but the issue is that because we normally announce the international arrivals first and people think that that is the focus.”
“But our focus is rather on the domestic tourism because COVID taught us that when the airlines cannot come and the borders are shut, we need the people to go round, and that is why we instituted all those campaigns like the “Experience Ghana Share Ghana, See, Eat, Wear and Feel Ghana.”
With regard to the events in December, Mr Agyeman said the Authority was currently targeting the Northern region, as the region to extend most of the events to.
“This is because we have some decent cultural activities and festivals coming on there, then Takoradi and Ashanti.
We have engaged with them to improve some of the events and festivals that happen there. So that other peripheral events can be brought on board for more people to patronize it.
“The numbers for December are growing and we are hoping that the target of two million people coming in would be achieved. Currently, for the first half of the year, we have about 500,000 people coming in and it means that we are lagging behind our target. But we know that when it comes to the last quarter which is usually the travel time for lots of people who come to Ghana, we would achieve that.”