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Tourism Ministry, GTA expect 150,000 visitors for ‘December in GH’ events

…to deepen ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative

The Ministry of Tourism Arts, and Culture (MoTAC) and its implementing agency, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) are expecting some 150,000 visitors into the country as part of activities lined up to observe ‘December in GH’ events.

‘December in GH’, has since 2019, become a key month on the country’s tourism calendar, contributing to Ghana’s tourism growth. The initiative constitutes an array of high-profile tourism-oriented events which brings thousands of tourists into the country from across the globe.

Despite the climax of the pandemic last year, ‘December in GH’ was successful with events such as Afrochella, polo games by the Polo Beach Club among others.

Announcing some preliminary events which have been approved for the initiative, Tourism Minister, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal said significant strides have been made by the sector despite the effects of the pandemic.

“As of now, the tourism sector has achieved about 70 percent target in terms of measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on tourism businesses. As it stands Ghana is attracting more tourists in West Africa due to the country’s vaccination drive and we are expecting some 150,000 visitors for ‘December in GH’,” he said.

The country, Dr Awal noted, is on course to attracting about 600,000 tourist arrivals in 2021, being a 100 percent increase for the 300,000 obtained in 2020, adding, “Government’s ambitions for the sector is to generate about 250,000 domestic and international jobs within the sector by end of year, leveraging significantly on ‘December in GH”.

“The last quarter of this year is very critical for us in attracting these projected numbers into the country,” he said

Outlining activities for the events, CEO of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman highlighted Afrochella, Polo Beach Club, Rhythms on the Runway, Taste of Ghana, Kwanzaa, Diaspora Transition, Takoradi Festival, A centenary of demise of Yaa Asantewaa at Kumasi, and GUBA awards, as the preliminary events which have been approved for the activities.

These events, Mr. Agyeman said, would be observed under strict COVID-19 protocols where vaccination cards would only be accepted from guests, and observance of the all approved protocols as part of means to participate in the events.

“By November 1, we’ll have the full calendar of events. The Ministry and GTA are still vetting most of the events which have been received and by the end of this month, the full list of events will be announced and contactless ticketing would highly be utilized to prevent personal contacts,” Mr Agyeman said.

He said participants from the diaspora must have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours, pre-purchase of COVID-19 test from Frontier Health Service before embarkation; payment on that platform and going through a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport in Ghana.

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