As part of preparations toward this year’s “December in Gh” the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Beyond the Return Secretariat and Steering Committee have engaged various stakeholders to bring them up to speed on their readiness, while soliciting their support for a successful programme.
The forum which was held at the Accra Tourist Information Centre today, October 5, brought together event and show organisers, promoters, vendors, planners alongside security agencies, Municipal and District Assemblies, tour operators, hoteliers, various agencies under the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and many others in the value chain to discuss pertinent issues with the ultimate objective of an all hands on deck approach to ensure that the December in Gh events are held not just successfully, but also in a safe and sound environment.
CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, AKwasi Aggyemang said it was needful for the broad stakeholder engagement because December in Gh has become germane to Ghana’s tourism.
“December in Gh since 2019 has become central to the work that we do in tourism and also central to the whole concept of Beyond the Return. And so, it’s that time of the year again as we prepare for the activities for us to meet as one big family, look at areas of collaboration, cooperation, areas that need the attention of different organisations and how we can put it together.
“We brought all these different organisations together because it is all of us working together, understanding the work that we do that make December in Gh a successful programme or not,” he stated.
On the events that have been given the Beyond the Return seal of approval for December in Gh, the GTA Boss said they received 82 submissions, out of which 50 have been approved awaiting final publication. He however indicated that the window is still open for more events to be added.
He maintained that “We are currently finalizing the process of publication of the of the 50 endorsed events. Even as events have been endorsed, we still are receiving proposals and we welcome them because we know that someone might have an idea that they may feel that if it’s not added to the December in Gh programme, it wouldn’t be successful.”
Deputy GTA CEO, General Services, Ben Anane-Nsiah added that all efforts were being made to ensure that December in Gh lives to the hype and buzz around it; hence, the need for concerted efforts by all involved to ensure a positive outcome.
“Going back to 2019, we find that the arrivals in the last quarter are heavy because of what December in Gh has come to represent, and so we all have to put our hands to the wheel and make sure that people get a good experience when they are in the country,” he emphasised.
The forum offered the platform for patrons to look at a wide range of issues apropos of the many activities and events expected in December. They included airline charters, security, sanitation, permits, taxes, visa acquisition, service quality, hospitality and accommodation rates, and a whole lot more.