The Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and Coordinator of the Year of Return, Akwasi Agyeman has disclosed that the country will look beyond this year to build on the success of the Year of Return.
He said African Diaspora had strongly heeded to the call to return to Africa and especially Ghana during the Year of Return.
Agyeman said this in an interview at the ongoing World Tourism Market, London where the GTA is exhibiting.
“So far we’ve seen a very strong response from the African Diaspora looking to Ghana as the Pan-African leader and they have been coming to Ghana, re-engaging with the folks, tracing back their roots, and understanding what the culture of the people are. So we are building on that into 2020 as beyond the return,” he stated.
According to him, there are key focus areas that they hope to explore as legacies of the Year of Return and beyond it. He mentioned that “the diaspora investment project that we are working on, also the birthright journeys, trying to get people to appreciate what it is that when we ask them to return to, it means.
“We are also looking at real estate development, looking at investment opportunities that exist for the African Diaspora. We believe that with the global spend that the African Diaspora have in tourism and travel, it’s a unique opportunity for us to tap into that spend and also to for ways that we can build on tourism for development.”
He said WTM London offers them Ghana a unique opportunity engage with the UK market which has a lot of African diasporans.
“Here we have a very strong contingent of second and third generation Ghanaians, who will be coming back home. December is a very big month for us. We have several activities, parties, musical concerts, investment summits, and leisure and fun happening throughout the month of December, and we believe that it becomes a catalyst for us to build on for 2020 and beyond,” Agyeman maintained.
Beyond the return, Agyeman says Ghana is home. “And we mean home, we talking about our nature, we are talking about our culture, we are talking about adventure. Ghana has several sites for adventure, we have several natural attractions, the waterfalls, the parks and all those things that make up the ecotourism product that we have, is also there for grabs.
He averred that Ghana is positioning itself as the fun destination around Christmas period; “we have Afrochella, Afronation, Full Circle festival all happening in the month of December and we’ve seen a sturdy rise in the numbers that are coming in around this period.”
By: Samuel Obeng Appah