Economic Crises Apart, Why Ghana Drew Tourists Over The Festive Period

Peace Hyde
Published 12 days ago
High Angle View Of Illuminated Buildings In City

The West African nation saw a slew of events and international acts over Christmas.

Despite Ghana’s economic woes in 2022, it ended the year as a drawcard for international tourists over the festive period.

Last year, the West African country had seen inflation rising to over 40% as well as its credit rating relegated to Junk status by Moody’s because of its inability to pay back creditors and the threat of substantial losses for private bond holders. This had consequently brought the country to the doors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout.

The tourism sector, however, seems to have maintained its momentum; it has also been a key driver for foreign direct investment ever since Ghana’s Year of the Return campaign that saw a successful run in 2019. The campaign was a call for all Africans in the diaspora to return to the motherland and reconnect with their roots; a call marking 400 years since the first recorded enslaved Africans in the United States. And the diaspora heeded that call.

Over 237,000 visitors flocked to the shores of Ghana the Christmas of 2019 with the Ministry of Tourism estimating that about $1.9 billion was pumped into the Ghanaian economy. And it seems the trend has continued into 2022.

With an endless list of festivals including Afrochella, Detty December and the Black Star Line Festival, which was created by American rappers Vic Mensa and Chance the Rapper bringing international collaborations, the country was reportedly a favored spot for American celebrities and the diaspora over Christmas.

“We had over 50,000 people show up for our first-ever Black Star Line event alongside American superstars like Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, Jeremih, T-Pain and several top artists. This is history in the making. I think Ghana’s reputation for hospitality and the peaceful and tranquil environment is a major reason why the diaspora loves to come here,” says Mensa to FORBES AFRICA.

This has also helped the hospitality sector.

“With a large number of tourists visiting Ghana throughout the year… our global attractions present boundless opportunities for Ghanaians to display our culture, creativity and diversity within the hospitality industry,” says Nadia Takyiwaa-Mensah, a Ghanaian entrepreneur and author, to FORBES AFRICA.

Official figures from the Ministry of Tourism confirm that over 400,000 visitors flocked to the shores of Ghana in the first half of 2022.

“Innovation and originality need to remain at the forefront leading us to curate unique experiences through to opening boutique hotels. Ghana’s tourism authority aimed to drive over one million tourists to Ghana in 2022, whilst also increasing internal tourism; the latter we witnessed during and post-Covid. Investments and development within this sector are paramount,” adds Takyiwaa-Mensah.

The country is hoping the tourism and hospitality sectors will continue to grow and provide some relief for the economic crises Ghana is currently facing.

In December, the IMF reached a Staff-Level Agreement on a $3 billion, three years extended credit facility with Ghana aimed at restoring macroeconomic stability.