Barbara Oteng-Gyasi - Minister for Tourism
The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has revealed that the Year of Return initiative by the government gathered in tourism receipts an amount of $3.3 billion.
According to her, the average expenditure per tourist was $2,931. She said the amount was spent on accommodation, food and beverages, shopping, local transport, and entertainment.
While responding to questions in Parliament on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Minister noted that the government intends to build upon the success of the Year of Return initiative.
“By the end of 2019, the international arrivals reached 1.13 million from 956,372 in the year 2018, which was 27% growth above the global average of 5%. The average expenditure per tourist increased from $2,708 in 2018 to $2,931 in 2019. The receipts attributed to tourism is, therefore, $3.312 billion. The increased number of travellers to Ghana positively impacted five sector industries such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and arts and craft dealers to name a few,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Ghana Tourism Authority earlier indicated that it spent about GH¢6 million on promoting the Year of Return campaign in and out of the country. The Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Akwesi Agyemang said the expenditure did not include spending on media documentaries.
About the Year of Return
The Year of Return campaign, was an initiative by the Akufo-Addo government in September 2018, focusing on encouraging Africans in the diaspora to particularly travel to Ghana to reconnect with their root and possibly settle as well as invest on the continent.
The initiative saw an array of celebrities across the globe making their way into Ghana to explore, learn and appreciate their roots, as well as unite with Africans on the continent.
Some popular faces such as Steve Harvey, Nicole Ari Parker, Diggy Simmons, and Micheal Jai White, Ludacris, Cardi B, and Bozoma Saint John were among a host of celebrities who visited Ghana during the period.