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Year of Return Initiative proceeds hit over $3 billion

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The Minister of Tourism and Culture, Madam Barbara Oteng Gyasi has disclosed that receipts accruing from “The Year Of Return” initiative hit $3,312 billion. She said by the end of 2019, international arrivals reached 1,13million, from 956,372 cedis in 2018.

This she said represented a 27% growth which was above the global average of 5%.

The Minister of Tourism and Culture disclosed this In response to a parliamentary question asked by MP for North Tobgu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on ‘volume of visiting associated with the “Year of Return” initiative and the estimated economic gains to Ghana for 2019 fiscal year’,

Madam Barbara said, the increased number of travelers to Ghana positively impacted private sector industries such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and art & crafts dealers to name a few.

She said several hotels announced 100% capacity for the month of December. Art Centre merchants also reported doubling their sales in 2019 compared to 2018.

In terms of expenditure, she said  accommodations at 41% was the highest area of expenditure, followed by food and beverage (21%), shopping (14%), local transport (8%), entertainment (5%) and other spending (11%).

According to her, the average expenditure per tourist increased from $2,708 in 2018 to $2,931 in 2019.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in 2019 launched the Year of Return to Ghana Initiative.

The objectives of the Year of Return were to:

1) Increase the number of international arrivals to 1 million visitors

2) Cement Ghana’s Pan African legacy by building on the previous success of PANAFEST and efforts like the Joseph project instituted by the late Hon. Jake Okanta Obetsebi Lamptey

3) Brand Ghana as the gateway to Africa.

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