Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, has said the tourism sector generated up to $3.3 billion for the Ghanaian economy last year.
This, she said, was possible due to the ‘Year of Return’ initiative by the government.
Briefing Parliament on work done in her sector, the Tourism Minister revealed that, international arrivals into Ghana increased by 27 percent from 2018 to 2019, totaling 1.13 million people as a result of the ‘Year of Return.’
“By the end of 2019, the international arrivals reached 1.13 million from 956,372 in the year 2018 which was 27% growth which was 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,” she said.
She added that, revenue from accommodations increased by 41%, food and beverages by 21%, shopping by 14%, local transport by 8% and entertainment by 5%.
The hospitality sector, the Tourism Minister noted benefited immensely from the ‘Year of Return’ celebration
“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 added.
The ‘Year of Return’ launched in September 2018 focused on encouraging Africans in the Diaspora to settle in Ghana and invest in the continent.
Many high profile African American celebrities like Danny Glover, Boris Kodjoe, Samuel Leroy Jackson, Cardi B and Steve Harvey just to name a few visited Ghana.