GTA Hold Consultative Workshop On Domestic Tourism With Stakeholders

Posted By : Collins/ 8 0

The Ghana Tourism Authority has held a Stakeholders Consultative meeting with Stakeholders in the Tourism Industry at the Hill View Hotel, Teiman in Abokobi on 13th and 14th April, 2021.

The meeting was attended by the Chief Executive Ofiicer of the Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Operations, Mr. Ekow Sampson, President of the Ghana Hoteliers Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyameke, President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana, (TUOGHA) Madam Alisa Osei Asamoah, CEO of Apstar Tours and former TOUGHA President, Madam Stella Apenteng, CEO of Exotic Adventures and Advisor to TORGAG, Mr. Kwaku Pasah, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF)Mr. Emmanuel Frimpong and President of Car Rentals Association of Ghana, Mr. Seth Ocran.The rest are Mr. Ahmed Naaman CEO of Dodi Travel and Tours, Mr. Kwame Ansong, CEO of Sunseekers and Sun Lodge Hotel, some Management Staff of GTA and other Seasoned Tourism Practitioners.

The task of the group was to develop a Domestic and Sub Regional Tourism Strategy aimed at Promoting Domestic Tourism, which is one of the visions of the Sector Minister, Hon. Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, aimed at increasing domestic tourism arrivals. In other to achieve these, the group were tasked to achieve the following targets between the year 2021-2022. Domestic Tourism Arrivals- 600,000. Sub Regional Tourism Arrivals Ecowas)- 250,000. Beyond the Return- 700,000

The above will serve as Key Performance Indicator(KPI) to help spearhead this agenda.
The Trade Associations under GHATOF assured GTA of their unflinching support to move domestic tourism forward.
In his closing remarks, the CEO of GTA, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman said domestic tourism is the way forward. He urged all and sundry to put all hands on deck in order to bring this initiative to fruition.

Tourism In Volta and Oti Regions To Receive Renewed Boost With Operationalisation of Ho Airport

Posted By : Collins/ 28 0

Tourism in the Volta and Oti regions is expected to get a renewed boost as the Ho receives the test flight that will usher in the operations of commercial flight on the Accra-Ho-Accra route in the coming months. This is expected to open up the hugely unexploited tourism potential of the two regions to help promote both domestic and international tourism to help achieve the Tourism ministry’s revenue target.

 

Tourist are expected to enjoy a 15-17 minutes travel time between the two destinations cutting travel time via road by about 1 hour and 40 minutes. This is expected to allow tourist to leave visitors to the region with Ghana’s most attractive natural tourist spots.

On Thursday April 15, 2021 a successful flight testing exercise of the facility on was conducted at the Ho Airport. The Chief Operation Officer of the African World Airline (AWA), Captain Kwesi Oteng, successfully landed an Embrarer 145 aircraft which had 36 passengers onboard.

Captain Oteng informed the press that, there was no hiccup during the flight and that conditions were good. He added that AWA was planning to operate two or three times a week from Ho to Accra. He further hinted that, if the patronage of the Ho-Accra commercial flight went well, they would consider beginning connecting flights to other regions as well which would help boost domestic tourism in the country.

The Agbogbomefia of the Asogli State and Executive Chairman Of the African World Airline, Togbe Afede XIV believes the airport would not only accelerate economic growth and tourism but would be instrumental in emergency operations by state agencies. He recounted how the airport had helped deploy security personnel as well as transport accident victims to receive needed medical care.

He commended government and its agencies, Ghana Airport Company (GACL) and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) for the support and hinted of plans to establish an Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) in Ho for basic maintenance services as well as a pilot training school in Ho.

On his part, the Managing Director of the Ghana Airport Company Limited, Mr. Yaw Kwakwa expressed his appreciation for the enthusiasm of residents towards the airport and announced that Passion Air has expressed interest in flying to Ho saying “We are grateful for the enthusiasm that the city has shown us. This is what we are looking for” he said.

Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa lauded stakeholders on their respective roles in operationalising the facility and urged residents to patronize the airport.

The obviously elated Volta Regional Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Alexander Nketia said “discussion are ongoing between stakeholders to offer special packages for tourist to the region”. He said the packages will include great hotel, transport and site visit bargains tom make the region the destination of choice.

By: CA/GTA Digital

Beyond The Return: Chappelle Inspired By Stevie Wonder to visit Ghana

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In a recent interview on Supermodel Naomi Campbell’s YouTube Series, Unfiltered with Naomi, Comedian Dave Chappelle said he was inspired by Stevie Wonder to visit Ghana. Chappelle, who has been a comedian for three decades, spoke in the nearly one hour interview about his goals, memories and plans for the future. “I want to build something that lasts beyond me,” he told Campbell. He was thinking about creating something that leaves a lasting legacy.

 

“Where do want to go? I mean you’ve been around the world,” Campbell asked him. “Stevie Wonder said in the press recently that he wanted to move to Ghana,” he said. Explaining that Wonder has spoken about coming to Ghana many times through the years, he said there was something different about the way he said it this time around. “This last time he said it, what he said was, ‘I’m moving to Ghana so I can be valued and respected more’….it was almost exactly the phrase he used. You’ve got to think that as a Black American, who amongst us is more valued or respected than Stevie Wonder? And the idea that he would feel this way at this stage in his life, and his career….” He also noted that the award-winning singer/songwriter said he wanted to do this for his grandchildren. “To see him decide to make that move, I wanted to go.”

Campbell, who has been passionate about Africa since the mid-nineties when she was introduced to Nelson Mandela, has been on a mission to put Africa in the spotlight. Chappelle said he called her immediately when considering the visit to Ghana and she put him in contact with British-Ghanaian Architect, David Adjaye, who designed the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. “So we’ve been working together hopefully I’ll build something there,” he said. “I hope to open a comedy club there because I heard there’s none,” he continued. This would be welcome news to all the comedians in Ghana and other parts of West Africa to have a hub that showcases comedy shows in Ghana.

By: Ivy Prosper

Photos: Queen Afua and Wellness Delegation End Ghana Tour

Posted By : Collins/ 9 0
  She presented her products to them and even had everyone sample one that promises to aid and clear the cardiovascular system.
Queen Afua speaks about her health and wellness products.
Queen Afua shares her book, Sacred Woman.
Queen Afua and her delegation visited the Diaspora Affairs Office inside Jubilee House.
A visit to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park was an opportunity for the team to learn the history of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Some of the travellers have never visited the African continent and learning about the strides made by Ghana was an eye-opening experience.
Queen Afua after signing the guestbook at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum.
Jerry Johnson is an African American who has made Ghana home and saw the need to educate the youth about the history of Black people around the world. He created the Ancestral Wall around his property as a way to honour important historical figures from Africa and the global African diaspora. Queen Afua and her delegation travelled to Prampram to visit the wall and learn some of the history of people they didn’t know about.
In Prampram.
Attorney and Political Analyst, Angela Rye, Wellness Specialist, Sherease Torain, Holistic Health Practitioner, Queen Afua, Recording Artist, Educator and Cultural Ambassador, Queen Iminah, Entrepreneur, Alexis Froe.
Carrying the Pan-African flag, designed by Marcus Garvey at Cape Coast Castle.
Rabbi Kohain Halevi assisted in taking the group through the tour at Cape Coast Castle
For the African American community, a visit to see the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle is an important part of the journey to Africa. It’s an opportunity to experience and connect with their ancestors and to see the spaces where the atrocities took place before the ancestors were taken overseas.
The emotional journey at the Slave River in Assin Manso, where captured Africans had their last bath during the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Assin Manso is where the Slave River passes through and a critical part of the journey of healing for diasporans when they come to Ghana.  Queen Afua and her team experienced the place where captured enslaved Africans were taken for their last bath before being sold into the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The team also engaged in a tree-planting exercise to reconnect with the land and honour the lives of those who were taken.  
Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.
Queen Iminah planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.
 
Queen Afua planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region in honour of the ancestors.
Queen Afua after her book reading with Ivy Prosper, who was MC at the program.
Queen Afua’s best-selling book, The Sacred Woman was recently launched for the twentieth anniversary edition. She had a book reading and signing at the Pan African Writer’s Association House (PAWA), hosted by the Ghana Association of Writers. Mr. Gbormittah, President of the Ghana Association of Writers was there and he was happy that such an event was their first in a year after the pandemic halted their in-person activities.
Queen Afua reads an excerpt from her book, Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit.
Aburi Botanical Gardens is one of the beautiful wonders of Ghana and many tourists take the opportunity to experience the wonder and beauty of nature there. Queen Afua has partnered with Tehuti Films to document her experience in Ghana and used the gardens as a perfect setting to film a scene in her upcoming documentary.
Queen Afua and Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr at Aburi Botanical Gardens.
A visit to former President H.E. John Kofi Kuffor, at his home was an honour for the delegation. It was an opportunity for Queen Afua to speak to the former president about her health and wellness system and how she has helped to heal people around the world.
Queen Afua and Dentaa Amoateng with former president H.E. John Kofi Kufuor.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, met with the delegation for a breakfast meeting at Kempinski Hotel on the final day of their tour of Ghana. He expressed how impressed he is with the work Queen Afua is doing with her health and wellness teachings. He announced in the brief meeting before breakfast that he was appointing her as Ghana’s Wellness Ambassador.
Queen Afua meets the new Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.
  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
 
After the welcome ceremony at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.
  On their second day in Ghana, the team had a meeting at Jubilee House with the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Ababio, Deputy Director of Diaspora Affairs, Nadia Adongo Musah, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Emmanuel Adumua-Bossman and the Presidential Advisor on Health, Anthony Nsiah-Asare. Queen Afua spoke to them about her vision for health and wellness in Ghana. She spoke about her best-selling books and how she has helped millions around the world heal their bodies through food.  
Queen Afua and her delegation meeting at Jubilee House.
  She presented her products to them and even had everyone sample one that promises to aid and clear the cardiovascular system.
Queen Afua speaks about her health and wellness products.
Queen Afua shares her book, Sacred Woman.
Queen Afua and her delegation visited the Diaspora Affairs Office inside Jubilee House.
A visit to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park was an opportunity for the team to learn the history of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Some of the travellers have never visited the African continent and learning about the strides made by Ghana was an eye-opening experience.
Queen Afua after signing the guestbook at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.
Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum.
Jerry Johnson is an African American who has made Ghana home and saw the need to educate the youth about the history of Black people around the world. He created the Ancestral Wall around his property as a way to honour important historical figures from Africa and the global African diaspora. Queen Afua and her delegation travelled to Prampram to visit the wall and learn some of the history of people they didn’t know about.
In Prampram.
Attorney and Political Analyst, Angela Rye, Wellness Specialist, Sherease Torain, Holistic Health Practitioner, Queen Afua, Recording Artist, Educator and Cultural Ambassador, Queen Iminah, Entrepreneur, Alexis Froe.
Carrying the Pan-African flag, designed by Marcus Garvey at Cape Coast Castle.
Rabbi Kohain Halevi assisted in taking the group through the tour at Cape Coast Castle
For the African American community, a visit to see the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle is an important part of the journey to Africa. It’s an opportunity to experience and connect with their ancestors and to see the spaces where the atrocities took place before the ancestors were taken overseas.
The emotional journey at the Slave River in Assin Manso, where captured Africans had their last bath during the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
Assin Manso is where the Slave River passes through and a critical part of the journey of healing for diasporans when they come to Ghana.  Queen Afua and her team experienced the place where captured enslaved Africans were taken for their last bath before being sold into the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The team also engaged in a tree-planting exercise to reconnect with the land and honour the lives of those who were taken.  
Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.
Queen Iminah planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.
 
Queen Afua planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region in honour of the ancestors.
Queen Afua after her book reading with Ivy Prosper, who was MC at the program.
Queen Afua’s best-selling book, The Sacred Woman was recently launched for the twentieth anniversary edition. She had a book reading and signing at the Pan African Writer’s Association House (PAWA), hosted by the Ghana Association of Writers. Mr. Gbormittah, President of the Ghana Association of Writers was there and he was happy that such an event was their first in a year after the pandemic halted their in-person activities.
Queen Afua reads an excerpt from her book, Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit.
Aburi Botanical Gardens is one of the beautiful wonders of Ghana and many tourists take the opportunity to experience the wonder and beauty of nature there. Queen Afua has partnered with Tehuti Films to document her experience in Ghana and used the gardens as a perfect setting to film a scene in her upcoming documentary.
Queen Afua and Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr at Aburi Botanical Gardens.
A visit to former President H.E. John Kofi Kuffor, at his home was an honour for the delegation. It was an opportunity for Queen Afua to speak to the former president about her health and wellness system and how she has helped to heal people around the world.
Queen Afua and Dentaa Amoateng with former president H.E. John Kofi Kufuor.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, met with the delegation for a breakfast meeting at Kempinski Hotel on the final day of their tour of Ghana. He expressed how impressed he is with the work Queen Afua is doing with her health and wellness teachings. He announced in the brief meeting before breakfast that he was appointing her as Ghana’s Wellness Ambassador.
Queen Afua meets the new Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.
  [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Holistic Health Practitioner and Best-Selling Author, Queen Afua visited Ghana as part of the Beyond The Return initiative targeted at Diaspora community to experience “A Decade of African Renaissance”. The delegation were welcomed and hosted by the Ghana Tourism Authority under the Beyond The Return Initiative.

 

The first day of Queen Afua’s trip began with a welcome ceremony at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel. A cultural troupe performed traditional song and dance while Queen Afua and her delegation joined in and danced to the beat of the drums. It was clear the love they have for the motherland Africa.

 

After the welcome ceremony at La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra.

 

On their second day in Ghana, the team had a meeting at Jubilee House with the Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, Akwasi Ababio, Deputy Director of Diaspora Affairs, Nadia Adongo Musah, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Presidency, Emmanuel Adumua-Bossman and the Presidential Advisor on Health, Anthony Nsiah-Asare. Queen Afua spoke to them about her vision for health and wellness in Ghana. She spoke about her best-selling books and how she has helped millions around the world heal their bodies through food.

 

Queen Afua and her delegation meeting at Jubilee House.

 

She presented her products to them and even had everyone sample one that promises to aid and clear the cardiovascular system.

Queen Afua speaks about her health and wellness products.

Queen Afua shares her book, Sacred Woman.

Queen Afua and her delegation visited the Diaspora Affairs Office inside Jubilee House.

A visit to Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park was an opportunity for the team to learn the history of Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. Some of the travellers have never visited the African continent and learning about the strides made by Ghana was an eye-opening experience.

Queen Afua after signing the guestbook at the Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park.

Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum.

Jerry Johnson is an African American who has made Ghana home and saw the need to educate the youth about the history of Black people around the world. He created the Ancestral Wall around his property as a way to honour important historical figures from Africa and the global African diaspora. Queen Afua and her delegation travelled to Prampram to visit the wall and learn some of the history of people they didn’t know about.

In Prampram.

Attorney and Political Analyst, Angela Rye, Wellness Specialist, Sherease Torain, Holistic Health Practitioner, Queen Afua, Recording Artist, Educator and Cultural Ambassador, Queen Iminah, Entrepreneur, Alexis Froe.

Carrying the Pan-African flag, designed by Marcus Garvey at Cape Coast Castle.

Rabbi Kohain Halevi assisted in taking the group through the tour at Cape Coast Castle

For the African American community, a visit to see the dungeons of Cape Coast Castle is an important part of the journey to Africa. It’s an opportunity to experience and connect with their ancestors and to see the spaces where the atrocities took place before the ancestors were taken overseas.

The emotional journey at the Slave River in Assin Manso, where captured Africans had their last bath during the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

Assin Manso is where the Slave River passes through and a critical part of the journey of healing for diasporans when they come to Ghana.  Queen Afua and her team experienced the place where captured enslaved Africans were taken for their last bath before being sold into the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

The team also engaged in a tree-planting exercise to reconnect with the land and honour the lives of those who were taken.

 

Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.

Queen Iminah planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region.

 

Queen Afua planting a tree in Assin Manso, Central Region in honour of the ancestors.

Queen Afua after her book reading with Ivy Prosper, who was MC at the program.

Queen Afua’s best-selling book, The Sacred Woman was recently launched for the twentieth anniversary edition. She had a book reading and signing at the Pan African Writer’s Association House (PAWA), hosted by the Ghana Association of Writers.

Mr. Gbormittah, President of the Ghana Association of Writers was there and he was happy that such an event was their first in a year after the pandemic halted their in-person activities.

Queen Afua reads an excerpt from her book, Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind and Spirit.

Aburi Botanical Gardens is one of the beautiful wonders of Ghana and many tourists take the opportunity to experience the wonder and beauty of nature there. Queen Afua has partnered with Tehuti Films to document her experience in Ghana and used the gardens as a perfect setting to film a scene in her upcoming documentary.

Queen Afua and Queen Esther Hunter-Sarr at Aburi Botanical Gardens.

A visit to former President H.E. John Kofi Kuffor, at his home was an honour for the delegation. It was an opportunity for Queen Afua to speak to the former president about her health and wellness system and how she has helped to heal people around the world.

Queen Afua and Dentaa Amoateng with former president H.E. John Kofi Kufuor.

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, met with the delegation for a breakfast meeting at Kempinski Hotel on the final day of their tour of Ghana. He expressed how impressed he is with the work Queen Afua is doing with her health and wellness teachings. He announced in the brief meeting before breakfast that he was appointing her as Ghana’s Wellness Ambassador.

Queen Afua meets the new Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal.

 

Minister For Tourism Engages Agency Heads To Strategise To Make Sector Number One GDP Contributor

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As part of the the unwavering commitment by the Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture ( MoTAC), Hon. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, to make Ghana’s tourism hub a game changer in the economic transformation of H. E. President Akufo Addo’s vision for Ghana’s “Beyond Aid” agenda, a two 2-day retreat was organized for the Management Staff and the Heads of Agencies under the Ministry, at Akosombo in the Eastern Region, from 25-26th March, 2021.

He observed that the Tourism industry was not doing well as expected and indicated his resolve to turn the economic fortunes of the Sector by creating massive employment opportunities for the Ghanian citizenry.

He further expressed his desire to generate 5-Billion Dollars from the Tourism industry by December, 2022.

Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, intimated that upon his assumption of office, H E President Akufo Addo indicated to him to use his business acumen and entrepreneural skills to change the face of Ghana’s Tourism industry.

The Sector Minister emphasized that he would infuse business perspectives and Strategic Policy direction that would rake in huge financial gains for the Tourism arena.

He further expressed his commitment to make Ghana’s Tourism Sector number one contributor to the country’s GDP from it’s current third place ranking from the economic performance in Ghana.

He further expressed his preparedness to make Ghana an attractive Tourism destination by boosting Tourism, Culture and the Creative Arts segment, given that it is a multi billion dollar industry, which needed to be given an utmost attention it deserved.

He also expressed his resolve to make Domestic Tourism his top-most priority Agenda to attract about One Million local Tourists visitation annually.

Dr. Awal, further entreated the Heads of Agencies under the Ministry to endeavour to always, as a matter of Policy direction have a recouse to him before undertaking any Policy execution of their operations.

The Chief Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. John Yao Agbeko, earlier in his welcome remarks officially welcome Hon. Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, for his appointment to the Ministry, adding that the meeting was to also afford the Policy Makers an opportunity to have a deeper knowledge of the Sector-wide performance from the Agency Heads briefings of their activities.

Meanwhile, eleven (11) Heads of Agencies under the Ministry took turns to deliver their presentations on their respective Agencies’ Policy interventions.

Gov’t targets $5bn Tourism revenue in 2 yrs – Dr Awal reveals at vetting

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The Minister designate for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim Awal, has outlined plans to increase revenue from the sector to $6 billion within the next three years.

Currently, data from the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) indicate that the sector contributed $1 billion to the economy last year, with global projections indicating that the figure could increase to $1.2 billion by the close of the year.

The Minister designate, who made an ambitious $5-billion projection of inflow within his first two years in office when given the nod, insisted that it was very possible, considering the fact that the country raked in $3.3 billion in 2019 due to the Year of Return initiative.

Dr Awal was, therefore, confident that initiatives such as the Year of Return and Beyond the Return, a further improvement of tourist sites and Ghana’s arts and culture would help achieve that target.

Leading foreign exchange earner

He said his plan was to make the tourism sector the number one foreign exchange earner for the country in the next four years.

Ghana’s tourism industry is currently the fourth foreign exchange earner, with gold, oil and cocoa occupying the number one to three positions, respectively.

“Tourism everywhere contributes significantly to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In Ghana, it is the number four foreign exchange earner, but we are determined to make it the number one,” he stated.

Measures to achieve targets

Dr Awal said the targets would be achieved by boosting both domestic and international tourism in the country.

“We are going to boost both domestic and foreign tourism. Ghana has the best in terms of tourist sites; Ghanaian people are warm, have very rich arts and culture and good heritage sites, and we think that when we put our heads together, we can do a lot there, especially internal tourism,” the minister designate said.

He said internal tourism was not much patronised and called on Parliament to champion that cause.

“We want to institute corporate tourism, school tourism, religious tourism, among others,” he noted.

To do that, Dr Awal said, the country would have to improve its arts and culture offerings, since that was the foundation for a strong tourism sector for any country.

“Our national festivals on arts and culture will have to come back. You cannot have a good tourism sector without a good arts and culture background,” he stated.

$20-million studio

Dr Awal also revealed plans by the ministry, under his supervision, to build a $20-million world-class music and film studio, with the support of the private sector.

That, he said, would help position the country as a film production hub in West Africa.

“This is one element that can bring increased tourism into the country. We currently don’t have any serious studio in this country. In Nigeria, the film industry, two years ago, generated $590 million. In Hollywood, the industry generated over $4.1 billion.

“Ghana can do it if we have a studio that produces movies,” he stated.

Promoting festivals

The minister designate also outlined his plans to promote Ghanaian festivals and make them more attractive to the international community.

“Marketing and promotion are very important in promoting Ghanaian festivals. We want to have a comprehensive calendar and programme, worked out with the chiefs and traditional authorities, to market Ghanaian festivals in and outside Ghana and also seek to get sponsorship for these festivals,” Dr Awal noted.

$50-million industry support

The minister designate for Tourism also pointed out that the sector had been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said statistics available to the ministry indicated that the Ghanaian tourism industry had lost GH¢6 billion since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The former Minister of Business Development said although the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) had provided some support for the industry, it was still not enough.

He said the ministry was, therefore, working on a $50-million fund to support the industry.

“What we intend doing is carry out a proper impact assessment, which the GTA is already doing, to look at what we can do. We intend to build the capacities of the players in the sector, give them business ideas and provide funding for them,” he stated.

Dr Awal stressed that anytime a pandemic was over, there was a surge in tourism, saying: “We, therefore, want to use the downtime.”

Marine drive project

The former Business Development Minister also said he would ensure massive participation of the private sector in the Marine Drive Tourism project.

“The Marine Drive Project is very important and a game changer project in Ghana. When I am given the nod, I will look at the details; I am a business development person and I will ensure that the project is accelerated to create jobs for Ghanaians.

“We expect to invest between $8 billion and $10 billion to ensure the project gets underway and I will ensure that the private sector is encouraged to participate,” he said.

Source: GraphicOnline

The NAACP And Ghana, A Shared Identity

Posted By : Collins/ 231 0

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has been at the forefront of the civil rights movement for over a century.  Founded, on February 12, 1909, they are the oldest civil rights organization in the United States.  As we mark their 112th anniverary, it was important to share a brief history of the organization and why they are still important today.

 

What many people don’t know is that the Niagara Movement, which was an organization of black intellectuals, is seen as the predecessor of the NAACP.  The Niagara Movement included 29 African Americans who had a secret meeting in 1905 in Fort Erie, Ontario Canada (close to Niagara Falls). Where they created a manifesto that was focused on finding ways to abolish racial discrimination.  Many of the members of the Niagara Movement, were subsequently some of the founders of the NAACP.

One of the most notable founding members of the NAACP, was W.E.B. DuBois, who went on to become one of the most important historical figures in the Pan Africanist movement.  President Kwame Nkrumah convinced DuBois to visit Ghana in 1960 and he eventually moved and became a Ghanaian citizen. He died in Ghana and was buried there, his grave being one of the most visited sites in the country.

 

Other founding members of the NAACP included Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Mary Church Terrell and a group of white liberals who also wanted racial justice; Mary White Ovington, Oswald Garrison, William English Walling and Dr. Henry Moscowitz.

Throughout history, the NAACP has fought against the many injustices that faced Black people including, voting rights, segregation, racial violence, discrimination in employment opportunities, anti-lynching, education and many more of the constitutional rights they were being denied.

 

The NAACP has also been at the fore when it comes to important litigation cases.  They established the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund in 1939 and have been successful in legal battles that have led to changes in the legal system including the 1954 school segregation ruling in Topeka.

 

During the 1980s, the NAACP showed their solidarity for Black South Africans when they spoke publicly against the Apartheid system, which was reminiscent of the experiences African Americans also had in the United States.

Derrick Johnson currently serves as the 19th President of the NAACP.  He has led the organization with being on the frontlines of many current pressing issues of the African American community. In 2019, he also partnered with the Jamestown to Jamestown project that marked the 400 year anniversary of the documented ship of enslaved Africans that arrived in the U.S. It was a collaboration with the ‘Year of Return’ and The Adinkra Group and brought over 250 African Americans on a life-changing journey to Ghana. It was a historic trip as a Grand Durbar was held in their honour and the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, was in attendance and gave a special warm welcome to all the African Americans by taking a moment to shake everyone’s hand.  “We want to thank you for the open arms that you have received us with. We are proud to be African, we are proud to be a part of this great celebration. We are proud to be with you today,” Derrick Johnson said when addressing the crowd at the Grand Durbar in Jamestown, Accra.

The NAACP continues to play an important role in the lives of the African American community.  They are actively involved in federal advocacy, justice, education, supporting economic opportunities, health and diversity in America.

The Light of Cocoa & Chocolates

Posted By : Collins/ 277 0

Have you had your bite of chocolate today? Or have you consumed a glass of pure Ghanaian cocoa drink yet?

If your answer is a big no, what are you waiting for?

Taking you aback a bit, cocoa was introduced in Ghana by our Legendary Tetteh Quarshie in 1895 when he returned from his farm in the Eastern Region with cocoa beans in his pocket from Fernando Po, now an island in Bioko equatorial Guinea.

Now let’s fast forward to where we left off. Do you know chocolates increase your libido if you are sexually inactive?

Oh yes, I am pretty much sure that was very green to you but that’s the truth of the matter. And the earlier the cat is let out of the bag, the better.

Consuming more chocolates and cocoa drink not only activates your sex drive and empowers you but it smoothens your skin and return you to the skin you emanated from the womb with especially the ladies. Another reason you have to consume cocoa is because it provides the most powerful dietary antioxidants .

No need to bleach that beautiful skin of yours. Use cocoa butter and lotion to keep the tone and texture smooth and fresh all the time.

Even if you find your skin in a bleached entanglement because of the use of other creams, its never too late.

Consuming cocoa and chocolates will do the trick of bringing you back into the light. It’s never too late on your side as far as chocolates and cocoa are involved. They are the lifeline to your skin’s death deadline. Eating more chocolates (consuming cocoa) also reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

They delay physical signs of ageing and minimises the pain and discomfort associated with menstrual periods and cramps.

Your stress problems are now a thing of the past because cocoa is here to take care of that.

Consumption of cocoa (chocolates) also fights dental decay, provides energy and vitality.

Cocoa and chocolates improve blood circulation to your brain and white washes depression in your life if you are emotionally broken down.

The men (guys) are not left out, consumption of cocoa keeps you fit, strong and sexually active.

I know you can’t wait to have this wonderful experience.

Come 14th February, 2021, the place to be to experience this change of light to your skin and have that power to the light is The Ghana Tourism Authority.

Come wearing your nose mask, meet pals, connect with your roots and observe all Covid – 19 protocols.

Eat more chocolates, drink more of natural cocoa drink, re – vitalise and boost your human and immune system.

This program is being held under the auspices of The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture under the theme, “My Chocolate Experience In Disruptive Times”.

Cocoa has spread all over Ghana and given birth to several products i.e. chocolates, cocoa butter cream, cocoa butter lotion, cocoa drink, Milo etc. and all these children to cocoa play key roles in the growth, re – vitalisation and development of the human system and nation Ghana as a whole.

Where there is chocolate, there is life.

Where there is chocolate, there is light.

Where there is Chocolate, there is love and Where there is chocolate, there is hope.

Consume a chocolate today and shine a light.

 

Isaac Kofi Arthur

National Service Personnel

Corporate Affairs Department

Ghana Tourism Authority

World Day For African & Afrodescendant Culture Celebrated To Promote Arts, Culture & Heritage

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The 2021 World Day for African and Afrodescendant culture was held on 24 January, 2021 at the W.E. Dubois Centre, Accra to celebrate the vibrant cultures of the African continent and African Diasporas around the world.

This year’s event was  to create an opportunity for Africans and the African Diasporans to promote their cultures to enable them play their role in the development and peace in the continent.

Mr. Addourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Country Manager, said the World Day celebration is UNESCO’s aspirations to honour and highlight such cultures in their diversity and actuality.

“For, if we are to build back better and differently, we will need the inspirational power of culture. Promotion of African and Afro-descendant cultures is very important as the global crisis has exacerbated all the tensions in our societies. The fact is that these cultures offer pride, answers and something to heal even the deepest wounds”. Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO remarked.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman in his address said, “Africa will remain the vehicle of hope on the world map, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

World Day for African and Afro-descendant culture is held every year on 24 January to celebrate the diverse and vibrant culture of the African continent and African Diasporas around the world, and promote them as an effective lever for sustainable development, dialogue and peace. UNESCO adopted this day at the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019. The dates coincide with the adoption of the Charter for African Cultural Renaissance in 2006 by the Heads of State and Government of the African Union.

The celebration of World Day for African and Afro-descendant culture is also aimed to promote the widest possible ratification and implementation of this Charter by African States, thereby strengthening the role of culture in promoting peace on the continent.

Other dignitaries including, Ambassador Erieka Bennett, Diaspora African Forum, Mr. Akwasi Awuah Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President, and Jessica Ayivor, President of the African American Association of Ghana (AAAG) were present at the ceremony.

CNN Travel Names Ghana As One Top 21 Places To Visit In 2021

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In an article published by CNN Trravel outlining the top 21 places to visit in 2021, Ghana has been featured again in the company of other places such as Paris and Egypt. Ghana is featured based on the success of the Year Of Return and the propoects of its sucessor, Beyond The Return. Read Article below to discover why one should visit Ghana:
— From the gloomy depths of a Northern Hemisphere winter like no other, it can seem futile thinking about vacation plans for the year ahead.
With most of the planet still in the grips of the pandemic and vaccines a long way off for so many of us, traveling for pleasure could be thought of as at best foolish, at worst, downright risky.
One thing we do know, however, is that this situation isn’t forever. For some of us, escape could be a matter of weeks away. For others, it could be coming in the middle, or even the end, of the year.
But it will come eventually, and freedom to explore will be back in the cards.
It’s in this spirit that CNN Travel has compiled its list of 21 places to visit in 2021. We’re fully aware that some of these destinations may remain off limits for some time to come and that embarking on a trip may not be advisable.
But in an era where tourism is part of the global language, we’ll continue to look ahead to the time when we can take our first tentative steps back out into the world and make good on those dreams we’ve been saving up.
With that in mind, we’ve assembled a collection of mostly blockbuster destinations that we think are going to be high on your travel wish lists. The 21 places YOU want to go.
These are not the obscure, or undiscovered gems that often populate places-to-go rundowns (although we did throw in a couple of unexpected spots). These are the solid-gold vacation hits that everyone needs right now.
To help with getting you there, for each destination we’ve also built a separate guide to what you need to know before you go, covering entry restrictions, current Covid guidelines and safeguards, plus what kind of vacation you can expect when you finally make it.
See somewhere you like: bookmark the guide and keep checking back for updates. We’ll keep you posted with all the latest developments as they happen.
The Ghana Case: Ghana in West Africa is continuing to bank on diaspora tourism with a new campaign, Beyond the Return. Its Year of Return initiative in 2019 targeted international visitors of African descent.
Antarctica: Making the planet’s southern reaches even more enticing in 2021 is a December 4 solar eclipse that will darken the seventh continent, creating a major event for Antarctic cruise lines to trumpet. Click through the gallery for 20 more destinations to consider when the pandemic eases up:
Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
With the cancellation of the 2020-2021 Antarctic cruise season, there is a lot of pent-up desire to make our biggest travel dreams come true.
One of the most remote destinations on the planet, Antarctica is not an easy (or affordable) endeavor under the best circumstances.
Perhaps the difficulty is part of the allure — the seventh continent remains on the top of many travelers’ wish lists. The striking white desert, with its dramatic, snowy peaks and vibrant turquoise waters, as well its exotic wildlife, including Emperor penguins and Weddell seals, is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Making the locale even more enticing in 2021 is a December 4 solar eclipse that will darken the continent, creating a major event for Antarctic cruise lines to trumpet.
Silversea’s Silver Cloud 11-day sailing departs on November 30, with rates starting at $20,520, with a 10% early booking discount and economy flights included.
Ponant’s offering also departs on November 30, but for 15 days aboard the first luxury hybrid electric polar-class vessel, Le Commandant-Charcot, starting from $17,790.
For those who are trepidatious about cruising, there are other options, including one from UK-based Red Savannah that transports passengers across the continent via private jet over nine days, for about $100,000. — Brekke Fletcher

Canada

Canada has a swoon-worthy landscape for every traveler.
Education Images/Universal Images Group/Getty Images
Skiing, surfing, hiking, polar-bear spotting and Northern-lights sighting. Eclectic cuisine, world-class shopping, a diverse and rich culture. This is Canada.
The 13 provinces and territories that make up the world’s second-largest country by total area has something swoon-worthy for every type of traveler.
Nature lovers take solace in mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and Atlantic or Pacific coastlines while sophisticated palates nosh at Michelin-starred restaurants and hole-in-the-wall mainstays alike.
Nightlife seekers will find vibrant club scenes in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, though smaller cities Edmonton and Calgary know how to play too.
The laid-back visitor has a bevy of chill choices: among them Tofino, Canada’s original hippie destination; Kelowna, a picturesque lakeside wine country; and St. John’s, one of the country’s friendliest places.
In New Brunswick, the recently opened Fundy Trail Parkway boasts wild views of the Bay of Fundy coast and the world’s highest tides.
Venture further north and it just gets wilder. Neither Nunavut nor Northwest Territories are easy to get to, but the rewards of visiting the remote regions — from the indigenous Inuit people’s artwork of the former, to the natural wonders (including unparalleled Northern Lights) of the latter — are countless.
Hot hotel openings include the anticipated spring 2021 debut of W Toronto and Halifax’s first five-star hotel, Muir Hotel. The property, set to open in August, will feature cold plunge and hydrotherapy pools with a halotherapy salt room. — Stacey Lastoe

Disney parks

If it were up to most kids, every family holiday would include a visit to a Disney theme park. There’s nothing comparable to the look of joy on a kid’s face the second they step through the gates and lay their eyes on that gorgeous castle and get their first-ever photo with Mickey.
These days, adults can’t be blamed for wanting to make a beeline to their nearest Disney park either, given the new “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge” themed lands at both the Disneyland and Disney World resorts in the US — open for less than a year before the pandemic hit. In particularly high demand is the Rise of the Resistance, the most ambitious interactive attraction in Disney park history.
Disney World’s Epcot, meanwhile, has been going through a major transformation of its own, with more of these changes set to open in 2021. Perhaps most exciting is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a child-friendly ride due to open as part of the expansion of Epcot’s France pavilion in the World Showcase.
And speaking of makeovers, on the other side of the planet Hong Kong Disneyland has been going through a big one. The Asian park recently revealed its dazzling new Castle of Magical Dreams, which has been under construction since 2018 and replaces its Sleeping Beauty Castle. Part of the park’s ongoing multiyear expansion plan, it features a mix of architectural styles inspired by different cultures, while paying tribute to the multiple Disney princess stories. — Karla Cripps

Dubai

Dubai is still open for most visitors.
Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images
While vacation planning for 2021 can seem like a wild roll of the dice, a trip to Dubai is a safer bet than most. The glitziest of the United Arab Emirates is currently welcoming almost all global travelers and, with the emirate embracing thorough safety checks and protocols, you can enjoy relative peace of mind while you’re there too.
UAE flag carrier Emirates Airlines is offering free global coverage for Covid-19 health expenses and quarantine costs, while the legendary ocean-themed luxury resort Atlantis, The Palm will cover your Covid test and give you resort credit if you stay five nights or more. Its billion-dollar sister hotel, The Royal, is also set to open its doors in 2021.
The long-awaited Expo 2020 Dubai has been rescheduled for October 2021 through March 2022 and the lavish mega-event is the first World Expo to be held in the Middle East. Visitors can expect world-class architecture, spectacular displays and a festival of food.
Also expected next year is the opening of the grandly named Museum of the Future, the calligraphy-adorned facade of which is already an impressive new landmark in a city known for its buildings with wow factor. — Maureen O’Hare

Egypt

Egypt’s supply of ancient wonders is seemingly limitless, and 2021 may be just the year to show them all off to a world starved for cultural discovery.
Many of Egypt’s most celebrated artifacts are finally expected to get a gleaming new home this year at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) close to the site of the Pyramids of Giza.
The museum — a monumental concrete and glass space measuring nearly half a million square meters with a price tag of over $1 billion — was conceived in 2003 and has been under construction for eight years.
While the opening date has not been set, the long-delayed museum is sure to be a huge draw. A headliner: King Tutankhamun’s treasures will all be exhibited together for the first time.
A number of sarcophagi from Saqqara — newly discovered in 2020 — will be transferred to the GEM, as will wooden coffins found in Luxor in 2019.
No doubt more new discoveries will be added to the lineup — providing a deep dive into 5,000 years of history that can also be traced by trekking across Egypt to the tombs themselves. — Marnie Hunter

France

Rolling fields of lavender or grape vineyards are among highlights of a trip to France.
Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images
The bistros, boulangeries, patisseries and fromageries are reason enough to hotfoot it to France when the world starts moving in earnest.
And the rest of the things that drew nearly 90 million visitors to France in 2019 will start coming to life again too: world-class art exhibitions, elegant chateaux, towering cathedrals, medieval villages, glamorous stretches of coast and endless tangles of wine-producing vines.
With any luck, corks will be popping in June at the Bordeaux Wine Festival — the largest in Europe, and hopefully the line-up at Jazz à Juan in Antibes Juan-les-Pins in July will provide a fitting soundtrack to a summer showing signs of a return to communal life.
For a regal, live-it-up kind of stay, Le Grand Contrôle — a historic hotel in the heart of the Château de Versailles with an Alain Ducasse restaurant and indoor swimming pool — is set to open to guests in 2021. — Marnie Hunter

Ghana

Its Year of Return initiative in 2019 targeted international visitors of African descent, and Ghana in West Africa is continuing to bank on diaspora tourism with its new campaign Beyond the Return.
Land and sea borders currently remain closed, but now is a good time to acquaint yourself with the country’s hip cultural offerings, from an arts and fashion renaissance to new restaurant and hotel openings.
Adventurers can catch waves at deserted beaches at Cape Three Points, one of West Africa’s best surfing spots, and may spot some humpback whales too. Mole National Park is Ghana’s largest wildlife refuge and is where you can see Nolan warthogs and spotted hyenas and get close to ambling elephants.
Capital city Accra has little in the way of major attractions, but remains charming and lively. For a fashionable, cosmopolitan vibe head to Osu and the area surrounding the airport, where you’ll find designer shops and art galleries. — Maureen O’Hare

Greece

Sunset over Greece’s rugged Mani region.
Barry Neild/CNN
If we do make it back to normality in 2021, Greece will have more reason than most to celebrate — it’s marking its 200th birthday. The official anniversary of when an 1821 revolution sparked a war of independence against the Ottoman Empire is in February-March, but parties and events to mark the bicentennial are expected — Covid permitting — throughout the year.
The charming port of Nafplio, in the Peloponnese region southwest of Athens, is as good a place as any to join in the celebrations — it was modern Greece’s first capital. As well as beaches and nearby ancient sites like the remarkable Epidaurus amphitheater and the imposing ruins of Mycenae, Nafplio has its own attractions, including the hilltop Palamidi fortress, a secluded beach and, especially apt for these times, a museum of worry beads.
Beyond Nafplio, the Peloponnese are worth exploring. Less touristed than many of Greece’s hotspots, they’re more set up for social distancing, especially on the wild and mountainous Mani Peninsula. That said, most of Greece, which is known to take health matters very seriously, seemed to cope well with creating a Covid-safe visitor experience in the summer of 2020, succumbing to a virus surge far later than most European destinations.
While a slow return to normal might make previously overtouristed places like Santorini worth a look in 2021, there’s no loss in playing it safe with a quieter option, like the island of Milos in the Cyclades — a plane or ferry hop from Athens. This volcanic playground has a beach for every day of the month, with more than a few to spare. — Barry Neild

Grenada

While Grenada’s nickname comes from its famous nutmeg industry, the “Isle of Spice” is packed with flavor in every way possible.
Measuring just 18 kilometers wide and 34 kilometers long, the eastern Caribbean island is made up of sandy beaches, lush rainforests and spectacular waterfalls, but it’s Grenada’s rich character that sets it apart from more well-known tropical destinations.
Although each of its seven parishes has its own very distinct charm and appeal, Grenada’s capital St. George’s, known for its horseshoe-shaped harbor and colorful houses, is undoubtedly the most vibrant and picturesque.
St. George’s is also home to many of Grenada’s top hotels, including The Point at Petite Calivigny, a boutique wellness resort, which opened in late 2020, and Silversands Grenada, where visitors will find the longest infinity pool in the Caribbean.
The island has around 45 beaches, but Grand Anse is its most popular for good reason. Spanning three kilometers, this stunning stretch of white sand frequented by both visitors and locals offers tranquil waters, fantastic views and a wonderfully serene atmosphere. — Tamara Hardingham-Gill

Hawaii

Hawaii is home to truly extraordinary beaches — and a whole lot more.
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Hawaii is underrated. This in spite of its unceasing popularity among travelers.
To be sure, it is a gorgeous place, with breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, and every beach seemingly prettier than the next, but its beauty goes much deeper than its preternatural appearance.
Extraordinary beaches — some even boast black and green sand (Papakōlea Beach and Punaluʻu Beach, respectively) — have their expected appeal, but visitors who take time to venture out and away from the coast quickly discover Hawaii’s charms are in every nook and cranny.
On the island of Hawaii, a must-see is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where a spectacular new eruption of Kilauea has recently drawn visitors. As is a visit to Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park on Kauai, which may turn even the most reluctant hikers into avid ones.
On Maui, after a few blissful days lounging at one of Wailea’s top resorts (Hotel Wailea for adults and Four Seasons for the whole family), take the road to Hana, an epic, winding adventure where half the joy is stopping along the way — to get the perfect shot or the most delicious tropical juice.
No matter which island you choose, which beachfront accommodation or which adventure, the key is slowing down and inviting the Aloha vibes to take over. — Stacey Lastoe

Italy

Perennially popular Italy hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons in March 2020, when it became the global epicenter of the pandemic — and after controlling infection rates better than most European countries over the summer, its aging population has been hit hard again by the second wave.
But nothing can dim Italy’s attraction, and as restrictions ease, this will be a time to see it at its best. Pre-pandemic, Italy’s art cities were notorious epicenters of overtourism.
But with visitor numbers not expected to return to 2019 levels for several years, for those who can make it safely, 2021 will afford the chance to see the Bel Paese in a way that hasn’t been possible for decades.
What’s more, the best known cities are trying to change tourism for the better. Having seen many of the tatty souvenir shops close in the pandemic, Venice, for instance, is focusing on promoting the city’s traditional artisans, in a bid to readjust the tourism economy before the crowds come back.
Meanwhile, Milan’s Pinacoteca di Brera — one of Italy’s showstopper (and queue-heavy) art galleries — has vowed to keep entrance by pre-booking only, in order to give visitors more space, while Da Vinci masterwork “The Last Supper” is considering more same-day tickets to favor individuals rather than the big groups that usually book up slots months in advance.
Still social distancing? Italy has some of Europe’s loveliest rural towns, and its alberghi diffusi (scattered hotels) are perfect for the Covid era, putting you up in self-contained apartments dotted around villages. They’re sustainable, too, helping to support smaller places in need of tourism. — Julia Buckley

Japan

Japan is hoping to host the rescheduled Summer Olympics in 2021.
Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Though every tourism-dependent nation is certainly deserving of sympathy going into 2021, one can’t help but feel particularly moved by the plight of Japan.
This is a country that hustled hard to ready itself for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games, only to have to cancel the event just as it was ready to showcase those efforts to the world.
Those postponed Olympic Games will kick off in Tokyo on July 23, 2021, giving travelers a chance to see some of the huge changes that have taken place, along with all the reasons we fell in love with the country in the first place. The food, the people, the culture … Japan has a way of embedding itself into your soul and we can’t wait to get back.
Major Tokyo additions include the Takanawa Gateway — the first new station built on the city’s key JR Yamanote train line since 1971. The area around busy Shibuya Station has also been revamped as part of a huge multi-layer makeover to cement it as the city’s entertainment, transport and business hub for decades to come. Other changes of note include wider free Wi-Fi coverage not just in Tokyo but in the entire country — including 108 Shinkansen “bullet train” stations.
Several new hotels opened this year as well, including the luxurious Kimpton Shinjuku Tokyo and the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi.
But there’s plenty to see elsewhere, too — particularly for theme park fans. Our top pick? The new Super Nintendo World, which is due to open at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka in February 2021. –– Karla Cripps

Maldives

White sand beaches? Check. World-class dining? Yep. Incredible swimming, sailing and scuba diving? Got those too. Throughout the pandemic, Maldives has also managed to keep its borders open more than most thanks to the built-in social distancing offered by its luxurious resorts.
If anybody needed additional incentive to cross Maldives off of their bucket list in 2021, a spate of hotel openings is keeping things interesting. On deck for 2021 openings are new resorts from Ritz-Carlton, Patina, Le Meridien, Capella and Radisson Blu.
Next year will also mark a world’s-first country-wide loyalty program: the Maldives Border Miles program will allow visitors to earn points based on how often they visit and how long they stay. After all, the only thing better than visiting is visiting twice. — Lilit Marcus

Mexico

Travel between the United States and Mexico never really stopped during the pandemic.
Donald Miralle/Getty Images
This US neighbor to the south was a respite for many in 2020, in spite of the closure of land borders between the US and Mexico and multiple surges in coronavirus cases.
Air travel into and out of Mexico never really stopped, owing to the country’s limited Covid-related travel requirements, plus its natural beauty, breathtaking coastlines and a wide swath of relatively under-touristed locations beyond hotspots like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Cabo San Lucas.
While balancing physical and economic health has been an uneven juggling act the world over, the fact is Mexico and many other destinations are in dire need of tourism revenue.
Looking into fall 2021, which hopefully will be a much less complicated time to visit, Mexico City will be celebrating its quincentennial, commemorating its founding 500 years ago, with most festivities planned in September to coincide with Mexican Independence Day.
Later in the fall, Formula 1 racing fans can attend the 2021 Mexico City Grand Prix on October 29-31 at the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez. — Brekke Fletcher

New Zealand

“Otherworldly” — a term often applied to New Zealand’s eye-popping, Hobbit-friendly landscapes — has taken on new meaning when it comes to this South Pacific jewel.
Unlike vast swaths of the rest of the world, many of life’s normal activities have resumed in New Zealand, thanks to one of the globe’s most successful pandemic responses
The island country of five million has all but stamped out coronavirus, logging just over two dozen Covid-19 deaths. While its borders are closed to most travelers at present, we expect a lot of pent-up demand from people in all corners of the world salivating over images of its boundless terrain and return to relative normalcy.
Who doesn’t need a bit of forest therapy in Waiheke right now? Or some star-gazing on Stewart Island? The world is still wide and wonderful and this country serves nature up on a heaping platter with rich ties to local Māori culture and history. — Marnie Hunter

New York City

It’s a good time to explore New York’s fascinating neighborhoods on foot.
C. Taylor Crothers/Getty Images
Start spreading the news, reports of New York City’s “demise” have been grossly exaggerated. While the city has no doubt been adversely affected (what place hasn’t?) over the last year, the city that never sleeps has high hopes for a better 2021.
A lot of New York’s best offerings remain accessible, despite the ongoing pandemic (two major closures still in effect as the new year dawns are Broadway and indoor dining). And while New York City is rarely referred to as an “outdoor wonderland,” the truth is the best way to experience the city is walking through its distinct neighborhoods, maybe even with a slice of pizza in hand.
One of the best views of lower Manhattan can be seen while strolling across the Brooklyn Bridge, and New York City’s waterfront and parks are always there for you to explore.
Some seminal cultural institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, can be experienced with timed-ticketing — and without the usual crowds.
To add to the excitement, there are two highly anticipated luxury hotel openings.
Luxury brand Aman will make its New York debut in the Crown Building on Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, with 83 rooms, a 65-foot swimming pool, Japanese and Italian restaurants, cigar bar and rooftop terrace with views of Central Park, which is just a short stroll away.
All the way on the West Side, along the Hudson River near the High Line, the new Six Senses New York is slated to open inside The Xi — two new twisting towers designed by architect Bjarke Ingels. The brand’s first North American hotel boasts 136 rooms and suites and a spa spanning 45,000 square fee with a vibroacoustic meditation dome. — Brekke Fletcher

Singapore

Most travelers don’t want to spend any more time in an airport than they have to. But Singapore’s Changi is no ordinary airport.
While the rest of the world was hunkering down at home, Singaporean locals were paying to hang out at Changi, whether it was co-working in one of the lounges or glamping alongside the world’s tallest indoor waterfall at the Changi Jewel, which opened in 2019.
The coming year is a chance to fall back in love with travel, and a visit to the Lion City should rekindle that romance.
Beyond its spectacular airport, the city-state is home to a UNESCO-listed botanical garden, one-of-a-kind Peranakan culture, and some of the world’s most spectacular luxury hotels.
Its food scene is a major highlight — whether visitors opt for $5 Hainan chicken rice from a hawker stall or $500-per-plate Michelin-starred fine dining, nobody ever goes home hungry. — Lilit Marcus

Spain

Barcelona has taken time out to reevaluate its tourism offering.
Shutterstock
Spain, with its miles of picturesque sandy coastline and vibrant historic cities, has always been an unmissable travel destination.
Barcelona’s Las Ramblas may have been emptier than usual this year, while the party ground to a halt in the beach bars of the Balearic Islands, but Spain’s tourism hotspots are preparing to wow visitors once again.
Barcelona, like other European cities plagued in recent years by overtourism, has taken the time out to reevaluate how visitors can continue to enjoy the city without making it uninhabitable for locals.
The Balearics, meanwhile, are repositioning themselves with far more than iconic nightlife: secluded bays, a plethora of wildlife and sumptuous Mediterranean meals enjoyed al fresco will be the top attractions for visitors when they return.
Plus, by next summer, Spain’s fiestas — outdoor parties featuring fireworks, parades and celebration — might be back, and what better way to mark new beginnings than toasting 2021 under the Spanish sun? — Francesca Street

Thailand

For more than a century, Thailand has woven its spell on the masses with its glittering temples, fiery food, stunning beaches and mountainous landscapes.
All of that’s still there — plus a little more. The country has been heavily promoting domestic tourism in recent months, meaning there’s been no shortage of new hotel and restaurant openings — particularly in the capital, Bangkok.
The city’s historic riverside Charoenkrung area recently welcomed two new luxury hotels — Capella and the Four Seasons Bangkok — while nearby Yaowarat — aka Chinatown — continues to evolve with the addition of wonderfully eclectic bars and boutique hotels. One of our favorites is gallery/bar/restaurant Baan Rim Naam, which sits in a 200 year-old riverside warehouse in the Talad Noi neighborhood.
For those with their eye on Thailand’s south, the government is reportedly considering reopening Maya Bay, which has been closed since 2018 as part of a program aimed at reviving the area’s decimated corals.
Though not yet confirmed, the stunning cove made famous by “The Beach,” the 2000 film starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may welcome visitors in mid-2021, but with strict visitor caps. — Karla Cripps

United Kingdom

The UK has plenty of beautiful scenery, including the Lake District.
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
“Plague Island” isn’t likely to be top of anyone’s travel hot list, but let’s try to see past the unfortunate sobriquet applied to Great Britain by The New York Times after a new strain of virus led to many countries severing travel connections with the UK.
The first place in the world to approve the coronavirus vaccine will hopefully, by the coming summer, have shaken off its notoriety. What should emerge is one of the world’s top tourism offerings, but very different.
The UK’s recent Brexit from the EU will see the country’s tourism sector happier than ever to see foreign visitors, particularly given that those arriving from Europe may face more bureaucracy than before to travel here.
Brexit, plus the financial impact of the pandemic, may mean many Brits choosing to staycation this year, although some may splurge on an overseas escape after months of enforced lockdown. But the good news for foreign visitors is that a widely expected slump in the pound should make the UK great value for money.
While the country may seem like a small collection of islands, it still offers wide open spaces for those still wary of crowds. There are the hills and waters of the picture-perfect Lake District, the dramatic coastline paths of Cornwall and Wales, the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and even the pretty scenery at the end of London’s Underground lines. — Barry Neild

Uruguay

As neighbors Brazil and Argentina have struggled to contain the pandemic, laid-back little Uruguay has kept infection rates down — and as South America starts reopening for travel, that will serve it well.
Not that this is some kind of consolation prize; Uruguay has always had a huge amount to offer visitors, but as the continent’s second smallest country, it has often been dwarfed in the tourism stakes by its behemoth neighbors.
The current summer season (December-March) has effectively been canceled, with the government vowing to keep borders closed to stop infection rates rising. But once they reopen, there’s a huge amount to discover.
New to Uruguay this year? You’ll be blown away by its Atlantic coastline, with some of the most pristine beaches you’ll ever have seen — and a superb variety of accommodation, from beachside glamping to lagoon-floating cabinschi-chi country retreats and architecturally cutting edge bungalows, plonked in the middle of a vineyard.
Punta del Este is one of the Americas’ buzziest beach resorts, while Jose Ignacio, an hour up the coast, is a boho (but exclusive) resort. Carmelo, near the Argentinian border on the River Plate, is a laid-back weekend destination for Argentinians. It’s known for its wine — and the once-quiet Uruguayan wine scene is going from strength to strength.
Much of the buzz is around Jose Ignacio and Garzón, just inland, which is seeing a crop of vineyards opening up, like Bodega Garzón — owned by billionaire Alejandro Bulgheroni — Bodega Oceánica José Ignacio, plus Viña Edén and Sacromonte, both in nearby Pueblo Edén (tour the vineyards or try their wares at Solera, Jose Ignacio’s superb wine bar).
New for 2021 will be Costa Garzón, linked to the Bodega — a new coastal development with a restaurant by celeb chef Francis Mallmann, beach club, hotel and private lots — and pretty hotel Posada Ayana, which, in November, will unveil a Skyspace by James Turrell — the renowned artist’s first freestanding work in South America. — Julia Buckley
Keep an eye on our individual destination guides for updated information on openings, travel rules and more.
An earlier version of this story misidentified the capital of the UAE.