Tourism as a high economic driver is the movement of people from one location or country to the other for the purposes of site seeing or a particular facet of tourism.
Ghana with its rich history, culture and tourist sites undeniably has the tendency of becoming the number one tourist hub in the sub region. However, this vision cannot hit on without the collective effort of the citizenry. It therefore remains imperative on every inhabitant of the country, to in one way or the other, promote and represent the country to the outside world as a means of attracting and generating traffic into the country.
In 2018, 1.13 million visitors thronged the shores of Ghana for the celebration of the “Year of Return” which saw an 18% growth over the previous year, which also went above the global average of 5%. With this serving as a pilot year for promoting Ghana, it may be concluded that the agenda of completely transforming the country into a modern-day tourist destination will heavily depend on us as Ghanaians.
From the Jamestown lighthouse tower through the Nkyinkyim museum in Ada Foah, up North to the Larabanga mosque, the country can boast of over a hundred tourist sites and resorts in full existence which, with minimal input, could transform the status of the country from a developing to a developed country as a result of income generated.
A cue ought to be taken from other sister African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Egypt and Morocco amongst others, on how they have been able to successfully attract global recognition in the tourism industry.
Tanzania as a case study
Using Tanzania, a colleague sister state as a classical case study, it is apparent that this country after identifying what they had and the uniqueness of it, capitalised and fine tuned same in making their tourism sector more attractive.
Tanzania’s clean blue oceans, rich biodiversity, wildlife attractions and cultural resources represents an absolutely unique tourist destination with thousands trooping in yearly.
In 2019, the sector created 1,550,100 jobs for the people of Tanzania. Furthermore, as a means of fighting abject poverty, the country also created and developed markets for its traditional products. This also stimulated the development of transport and the hospitality industries.
Over a period of nine years the average international tourism receipt for Tanzania was 23.95% as compared to a 5.85% total in Ghana. This suggests that they have a competitive advantage of building their economy by investing in tourism.
It is therefore no mistake that the World Travel and Tour Council (WTTC) 2020 report attested to the fact that, tourism will significantly drive the global economic recovery post COVID-19 which will invariably be an avenue for job creation.
With the conversation on tourism sturdily gaining roots in other economies, Ghana has an obligation in making a conscious effort at investing heavily in this area. Just as Tanzania can boast of their prominent historical and artistic stone town, the unique rock restaurant and other activities such as swimming with the turtles and dolphins, Ghana should be able to boast of a variety of high thriving tourist attractions than it currently is. Juxtaposing Ghana’s capabilities with countries like Tanzania are not so far fetched and with the collective effort of government and its citizens, tourism could be the country’s next best seller. The essence of moving this from a vision, to goals, into actualization is mainly centred around having a concerted effort and focusing on executing a few outlined areas of opportunity, operationalization of the hanging fruits and a continuous assessment for the maintenance, improvements and monitoring of efficiencies whilst, ramping up advertising and marketing to support these efforts being implemented.
Source: Ghana Web