In a bid to whip up interest and increase patronage of local tourism, the Ghana Tourism has declared September as “Tourism Month”- in which the authority will coordinate activities on their calendar of events while supporting the promotion of various tourism related events such as festivals.
The declaration, according to GTA also ties into the official UNWTO, World Tourism Day which falls on September 27 every year.
At a press briefing earlier today at the Authority’s Head Office, Deputy Director in Charge of Operations, Ekow Sampson said every year, the Authority will celebrate the Tourism Month and emphasis will be placed on domestic tourism.
He said although current domestic tourism numbers were impressive; there was the need to shore them up.
“Available statistics by our Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Department (RME) indicates that Regional visitations to attraction sites have increased tremendously from 477,178 in 2015 to 635,572 in 2018; increase percentage of about 33.2%. Central Region still remains the most visited region with Kakum National Park being consistently the most visited attraction site in Ghana from 2015 to 2018 with over 131,000 visitors annually. This is closely followed by Cape Coast Castle, Elmina Castle, Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, Manhyia Palace Museum and so on.”
Tourism month will be celebrated annually every September and aims at providing a heightened month-long focus on the importance of the sector to the Ghanaian economy.
Sampson also said the Authority will use its flagship campaign, “See Eat Wear Feel Ghana” to drive the Tourism Month initiative.
He added: “this innovative marketing strategy is to enable Ghanaians appreciate their tourism, culture and creative arts potential and engender cross cultural exchange amongst Ghanaians. It also serves as an opportunity to promote and sustain domestic tourism and create a culture of travel among Ghanaians.
The Tourism month aims to encourage Ghanaians to travel domestically to get a better understanding of the hospitable and exciting tourist sites and attractions that are available at their own doorstep.”
Besides the many festivals and other events which are earmarked under this new initiative, GTA will organise the special Corporate Paragliding Festival in Kwahu from September 27 -29. The Paragliding Festival is part of a series of events under the “Yenko Kwahu Tours” which is a key component of the Tourism Month initiative, and is being spearheaded by the Kwahu Professionals Network.
President of the Network, Davis Opoku Ansah said the Tours is to open the Kwahu area to investments and give patrons the opportunity to see and experience Kwahu as a fledgling and vibrant tourism hub.
New hospitality facilities continue to spring up; Kwahu now boasts of the biggest night club in West Africa and a new 600 bed hotel is set to open next month.
One of the highlights for the maiden Tourism Month celebration will be the climax of activities for this year’s World Tourism Day in Kumasi on 27th September under the global theme; ‘Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’
By: Samuel Obeng Appah