Tourism is such a big contributor to an economy. The world over,it accounts for more than 10% of GDP.
1 out of 5 of all jobs created in the last 5 years was in tourism. But on the African continent, it accounts for only 3.6% of GDP says the World Travel & Tourism Council.
With its massive growth and job creating potential, it’s no wonder why African governments are trying to increase tourism to their nations. None has done it as well as Ghana. The “Year of Return” has hit a chord.
In January 2019, the Ghana Tourism Authority projected that “Year of Return” programming would bring 500,000 diasporans to visit the country over the course of the year.
The actual number has well exceeded expectations. The Ghana Tourism Authority reports that there have already been 750,000 foreign visitors in 2019 and that number is expected to top 1M before the year ends, that is according to Forbes.
Year of Return, Ghana 2019
The Ghana government has thrown invites to black people the world over as part of the “Year of Return, Ghana 2019”.
The initiative involves a year-long series of activities. These include visits to heritage sites, healing ceremonies, theatre and musical performances, lectures, investment forums and relocation conferences. The aim is to promote Ghana as a tourist destination and investment opportunity.
This year marks the 400-year anniversary of the first enslaved Africans’ arrival in Jamestown in the US. The Year of Return represents an effort to unite Africans on the continent with their brothers and sisters in the diaspora”.
In support, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo said “we know of the extraordinary achievements and contributions (Africans in the diaspora) made to the lives of the Americans, and it is important that this symbolic year – 400 years later – we commemorate their existence and their sacrifices”.