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Ghana’s vaccination drive will boost domestic tourism

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A medic administers a Coronavirus jab | File photoA medic administers a Coronavirus jab | File photo

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In 2019, Ghana’s tourism sector raked in US$3.3 billion in revenue with a total of 1.3 million tourists arriving in the country.

This was chiefly due to the organisation of the “Year of Return” initiative.

However, the unprecedented global travel restrictions coupled with stay-at-home orders since the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic reduced the gains made by two-thirds in 2020 and depressed the tourism value chain indicators.

Ghana is desirous of complementing global efforts of reviving the tourism industry through policy interventions, such as digitization of products and services, sites upgrade, promotion and marketing drives and aggressive revitalization of domestic and regional tourism.

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Education and increase in vaccinations

This desire can only be achieved if the country is able to increase its COVID-19 vaccination drive.

The country must be able to vaccinate two-thirds of its population to meet the expectations in the tourism sector.

Any Projections?

Experts have projected that the Travel and Tourism industry cannot return to pre-COVID-19 arrival levels until 2023 or later.

Therefore, domestic and regional tourism drive present the only opportunity and, a magic wand to revolutionize and increase numbers of visitors at the Ghanaian attractions.

Statistics indicate that domestic tourism reduced significantly from about 600,000 visitors in 2019 to about 200,000 in 2020.

The expectations, relying on the current enthusiasm of Ghanaians to visit their country’s tourist sites, are that general visitations will increase to reduce the gap created by global travel restrictions.

Recommendations

There should be continuous use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and religiously monitored for compliance, while hand washing, hand sanitizing, and social distancing should and must be regular practices.

The digitization of tourism products and services agenda by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) and the Ghana Tourism Authority to increase domestic and international tourism should be vigorously pursued.

Re-thinking the future of Ghana’s tourism should be considered through collective participation in tourism investment and financing to improve the resilience of the sector and take everyone on board.

Training for informal tourism practitioners is necessary for inclusive growth since service delivery is largely provided by the tourism private sector.

Another policy measure to revitalize the Ghanaian destination is the launch of the campaign, “Experience Ghana, Share Ghana” which was launched in June this year by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Awal.

It was to build on the current “See, Eat, Wear, and Feel Ghana” and intended to accelerate the pace of tourism through a renewed focus on domestic visitations by the people living in Ghana.

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