The year 2023 is just around the corner and amongst the top 25 breathtaking places and experiences for any traveller is Ghana.
Nation Geographic has taken the lead, to inspire travellers for the coming year and help them plan with “the hope is that 2023 will be not just a big return to travel but also to rediscovering wonder,” according to Amy Alipio, senior editor for National Geographic Travel and quoted on CNN travel.
In the announcement by National Geographic, Ghana is featured in the category ‘Community’ which was introduced in this year’s list, replacing “sustainability” with a broader “community” category highlighting how conservation benefits everyone.
The list which announces destinations for the year ahead, highlights places filled with wonder, rewarding to travellers of all ages, and supportive of local communities and ecosystems.
Ghana is thus being recognised as “an important destination for Black heritage travellers in West Africa”. National Geographic is therefor urging travellers to “head to Ghana to explore Black heritage and hang out with a fashion-forward crowd in the capital, Accra.”
Below is the list of the top 25.
National Geographic’s Best of the World 2023 list:
Appian Way, Italy
Busan, South Korea
Longmen Grottoes, Henan Province, China
Charleston, South Carolina
Big Bend National Park, Texas
Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico
Trinidad & Tobago
San Francisco Crosstown Trail, California
Manchester, United Kingdom
This announcement comes on the heels of several others in the past 4 years since Ghana launched renewed efforts at marketing its tourism with the flagship ‘Year of Return‘ campaign and its successor, the “Beyond The Return“.
Ghana also launched the ‘December In GH‘ campaign making the country a hub for fun and entertainment during the yuletide. This has drawn many people of African origin to visit the motherland including several Hollywood stars, Congressional Black Caucus and the NAACP. Campaign hashtags include: #DestinationGhana #ExperienceGhana #ShareGhana #VisitGhanaNow #SeeGhana #EatGhana #WearGhana #FeelGhana
By: Collins, sourced from National Geographic & CNN
A Second-year Fashion Design and technology student of GH Media School, Ms Apedza Sedem Jemimah, has been crowned winner of the third edition of Miss Culture Ghana 2022.
Representing the Northern Region, Ms Apedza beat six other contestants, with Sarah Nana Adwoa Koomson, a first-year student of the Ho Technical University representing the Ashanti Region, emerging First Runner Up, and Upper East Region’s representative Assan Charity Abena, a graduate of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) wining the second Runner Up position.
Contestants representing their respective regions displayed their intelligence, talent and love for Ghanaian culture and tradition. They engaged in Regional Culture Presentations, Talent Shows, and Beauty for Culture Project following the questions from the judges.
The three winners expressed their appreciation to the organizers for putting together such a show to grow interest in tourism, arts, and culture, and pledged their resolve to help the country’s agenda in promoting the Ghanaian Culture locally and beyond.
The CEO of the Event, Mr Isaac Larmie expressed appreciation to all the sponsors and collaborators of The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, Ghana Tourism Authority, and the National Commission on Culture, for playing crucial roles to make the event successful.
He said the pageantry was aimed at impacting cultural knowledge among young adults especially females, empowering the young generation through heritage, traditions, doctrines, and cultural values for economic empowerment, and building a common interest of enhancing interpersonal skills, projecting culture and heritage, increasing self-confidence, heightening society awareness. and aspiring to excellence while inspiring others through their examples.
It is also to create a platform for young female to showcase not only culture display but a vision plan for their traditional areas and use the platform as a springboard for a total tolerance among diversities.
Mr Larmie commended the winners and other contestants for their dedication to promoting the Ghanaian Culture and expressed the hope that the platform in future would produce well-cultured female ambassadors who would promote the core values and doctrines of Ghana’s history, traditions, and beliefs to Ghanaians in Ghana and beyond.
Ghana’s tourism stole the show at last nights Africa Tourism Leadership Forum Awards held at the Grand Palm Gaborone International Convention Centre, Botswana. The Hon. Dr. Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture won the ‘Destination Africa – Lifetime Award’ for his contribution in creating a positive change to Africa Tourism Industry within within the past few years.
Ghana Tourism Authority won the ‘Outstanding Africa Tourism Media & Marketing Award’ for projecting Destination Africa. The Award was picked up by the Director, Roberta Dawson-Amoah. Ghana was thus commended for laying the foundation for the rest of Africa to follow.
This Award recognises the most influential media and/or marketing contribution to changing the image of Africa. Mention was made of Ghana’s ‘Year of Return’ campaign and its successor, ‘Beyond the Return’ as having helped create a continental brand with renewed focus for Africa to attract more of its diaspora market highlighting opportunities to celebrate Africa and Africans, as well as create opportunity for many to return and invest.
The campaigns are said to have opened the door for hundreds of diasporans to receive citizenship in Ghana, and other African countries while the ‘December In GH’ campaign was noted for helping change the global picture of a ‘white Christmas’ to a Christmas full of African Culture, Fashion, Music, Dance and dialogues highlighting the new ‘Destination Africa’ brand. Organisers invited all participants to visit Ghana this December.
The officials from Ghana include the Moses Ndebugri, Upper West Regional Director and Messrs Collins Ackwerh, Deputy Director/Marketing and Head of Digital Marketing and Ernest Odame, Project Officer who were both also part of the ATLF technical and digital media team. Mr. Francis Doku, who was a Guest Panellist also led came with team from 3 Media. Kojo Bentum Williams of UNWTO and Voyages Afriq were also present.
ATLF Awards is the only pan African industry awards of its kind in Africa. It recognizes and celebrates change-makers and innovation pioneered by Africans, in Africa, for African travel, tourism, hospitality and aviation industries. Particular attention and recognition is given to nominees who can prove their commitment to leadership through sustainability in tourism practices and policy-making. Nominees and winners include individuals, small enterprises, countries, heads of states, destinations, cities, hotel groups, organizations, ministers, policy-makers and entrepreneurs.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Mr Akwasi Agyeman, has urged women in tourism to work hand in hand to break the stereotypes that holds women down.
He said “we need more of our women to rise to positions of authority that will enable them influence policies, especially those that will affect the fortunes of other women.”
Mr Agyeman made this observation at the just ended biennial congress of the GTA Ladies Club.
The congress is aimed at bringing members across the regions together to ascertain how best to help the organization achieve its goals, to look at ways of empowering each other and to exchange views and ideas aimed at improving the welfare of female staff.
He congratulated the Club for their commitment and efforts towards the successful operations of the GTA and urged them not to relent in their efforts to creating a more formidable force of the Authority.
Mrs. Doreen Fianko, Founder of the Club said there were many conscious and unconscious biases around women, which hinders their progressive forward movement.
“This is the reason why women need to be empowered to equip and allow them to redefine their gender roles and to make strategic life choices which will allow them more freedom to pursue their desired goals.”
Mrs. Emma Rachael Akua Oduro, Outgoing President of the Club urged women in the Tourism, Arts, Culture and Hospitality industry in Ghana, to mentor and coach one another through support groups in order to meet up with the growing demands within the industry.
She said the club was formed over two decades ago to among other things improve the welfare of the female staff through the exchange of ideas, promote the image and advancement of members as well as to assist the management in pursuance of basic objective of the Authority and offer constructive suggestions and criticisms.
The Ladies’ Club has a membership of almost two hundred (200) members drawn from all the sixteen regions of Ghana.
Some activities that took place during the congress include, leadership training programme, empowerment summit, a donation exercise, election and swearing in of new executives, tour and picnic.
The newly sworn in executives include Madam Francesca Quansah, President, Ms Abigail Kwayisi, Vice President, Madam Selase Tettevi, Organizer, Nana Yaa Boadu, Assistant Organizers, Madam Millicent Nweada, Public Relations Officer, Madam Ellen Gyeambea, Secretary, and Madam Dela Melchidek, Financial Secretary.
Wa in the Upper West Region to host World Tourism Day 2022
The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) World Tourism Day is observed every year on September 27 with the aim of fostering awareness among the international community about the importance of Tourism and its social, economic, political, and cultural values. The National Celebration is being hosted Today, 27th September in the Upper West Region, Wa, under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
This year’s Celebration themed, “Rethinking Tourism”, focuses on how we can accelerate tourism recovery through a collaborative engagement of all stakeholders around a shared vision to build a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient sector. The official World Tourism Day celebration will be held in Bali, Indonesia, on 27th September to highlight the shift towards tourism as a crucial pillar of development.
As part of the celebration, Ghana has developed a sub-theme dubbed; Promoting Domestic Tourism for Wealth Creation in Communities to grow the interest of Ghanaians for tourism.
Prior to the celebration, tours were organised to some tourist sites such as Nakore Mosque, Royal Cosy Hills (Jirapa Dubai) among others. The celebration being climaxed with a Grand Durbar of Chiefs and Queen Mothers at the office of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in Wa.
World Tourism Day was designated by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in September 1979, with the commemoration to commence in 1980. This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism: the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970.
On Wednesday, 17th August, 2022, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) engaged stakeholders on the draft standards for Multi-Purpose Establishments. The discussions aimed at registration and licensing regime of Multi-Purpose Establishments which includes Conference Centres, Convention / Exhibition Centres, Event Centres, Banquet Facilities, etc.
As part of his opening remarks, the Deputy Chief Executive / Operations, Mr. Ekow Sampson stated that the Authority deemed it appropriate to engage the leadership of Events and Meetings Professionals Association of Ghana (EMPAG) as well as Event Vendors Association of Ghana (EVAG) on the subject matter.
Mr. Alex Boakye, the Director of Standards and Quality Assurance addressing the meeting noted that Multi- Purpose Establishment refers to any premises hired out for the purpose of holding functions such as meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, seminars, workshops, banquets, social events and any related function which is not part of any registered accommodation establishment. He stated that the regulations will come into force after it has been passed by Parliament.
The President of EMPAG and EVAG, Mrs. Theresa Ayoade and Kate Hassan respectively expressed appreciation to the leadership of the Authority for engaging them appropriately to ensure a fair representation of the Industry Professionals in the drafting stage of the document. The leadership of EMPAG and EVAG assured the meeting that they will also in turn engage their members on further deliberations in order to have appropriate inputs where necessary.
The meeting unanimously agreed to take into careful consideration the ff: Health and Safety, Risk Assessment and Management (Risk Test), Insurance, etc. A strategy would be put in place to conduct sensitization and awareness campaign for all Multi-Purpose Establishments.
Present at the deliberations were also the Solicitor Secretary of GTA, Mrs. Stella Osei, Standards and Quality Assurance Department staff of GTA; Comfort Aniagyei, Roberta Okine-Fumador, Sellassie Piphanie Tetteri, Ama Akoto and Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi of the Corporate Affairs Department, GTA.
Representing EMPAG and EVAG were also Margaret Danso Gyau, Financial Secretary of EVAG and Robert Klah, a member of EMPAG.
The Ghana Tourism Authority in Partnership with the Queen Mothers Founders Foundation and Ghana Chefs Association have held the ‘Eat Ghana Fair’, as part of activities marking the launch of December In GH 2022.
The one day Fair, under the auspices of the Ghana Cares program, saw Queen mothers representing all the 16 regions of Ghana converge at the La Palm Royal beach hotel to exhibit and talk about their local foods.
As part of the Ghana Cares Obaatampa Program by the Government of Ghana to support the local industry, the event was organised in partnership with the Queen mothers to showcase the wide variety of Ghanaian meals and promote their consumption. The meals were prepared by the Chefs Association and displayed with labels, and dished out by the queen mothers to patrons of the Fair and the ‘December In GH’ 2022 launch.
Adorned in their royal regalia, the Queen mothers processed beautifully to the venue and took time to explain the health and nutritional elements of their meals as well as the basic ingredients to the public.
The ‘Eat Ghana Fair’ according to Akwasi Agyeman, the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, was held to promote the consumption of Ghanaian foods to support the local economy.
Over 30 Queen Mothers served meals including Fanti Fanti, Omu tuo, Ga kenkey, Acheke, Ebunu Ebunu, Ampesi, Kontomire, Fufu, Tuo zaafi, Omu tuo, Fomfom Etew, Borodee eto, Tubaani and many more.
As part of the event, some celebrities participated in a Jollof cooking competition. The celebrities included Ghanaian broadcaster and fashion designer Kofi Okyere Darko (KOD), Comedian and Actor Kalybos, Counsellor Lutterodt and veteran actor, Fred Amugi.
The celebrities were supported by students from the Teshie Technical Training Centre to compete for the bragging rights of who could cook the best Jollof.
At the end of the about 1 hour competition, the judges from the Ghana Chefs Association adjudged the contestants as follows:
1st place – Kalybos
2nd place- KOD
3rd place – Counsellor Lutterodt
4th place- Fred Amugi
Participants including the students were each presented with hampers from Ghana Tourism Authority.
The shining ‘Black Star’ of Africa is ready for you to come and celebrate your December in Ghana. Each year the holiday celebrations in Ghana keep getting bigger and attracting people from around the world. Expectations are high for this year as global tourism continues to increase. “Today as we launch ‘December in GH’ 2022, we take pride in seeing Ghana continue to be the leading country of choice for travel during the holiday season in West Africa,” said the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal. “Tourism has become one of the most important sectors in Ghana’s economy and shows no sign of slowing down. We anticipate that ‘December in GH’ for 2022 will become record-breaking as more travellers take the journey to Ghana,” he said at the official launch event which took place at La Palm Royal Beach Resort on 4th August 2022.
‘December in GH’ was originally launched in 2019, during the Year of Return as a tourism activation and has since become an important part of marketing events that attract thousands to visit Ghana for the holiday season into the new year. “‘December in GH’ is one of the biggest activations in our tourism sector and one that touches on the three pillars of our ministry; tourism, arts and culture,” said Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA). “Many of the events are also central to the pillars of the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative as we continue to engage with the historical diaspora community….Events in December have become flagships that attract people from around the world who plan their vacation in Ghana around event’s dates.” Despite the pandemic the last couple of years, people in the global diaspora community have continued to visit Ghana and have especially looked forward to some of the popular events that celebrate the country’s culture through music, fashion, live performances, food and culture.
Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, was in attendance for the launch receiving a citation for the work he has done since 2019 in bridging the gap between the diaspora and Ghana. “Ghana is important to Africa, Ghana is important to the diaspora,” he said in his address. “Once we link as a diaspora we are stronger…it’s through the African diaspora that we can succeed.” The citation was presented to him by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Beyond the Return secretariat. “We look forward to the continued development of our relationship with the NAACP in encouraging the diaspora to make the trip to Ghana,” Agyeman said.
Some of the industry stakeholders present at the event included the Mayor of Accra, Elizabeth Sackey, the Board for the Ghana Tourism Authority, Steering Committee Members for Beyond the Return, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mark Okraku Mantey, CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, Yofi Grant and the Director of the National Commission on Culture, Edna Nyame. Along with industry stakeholders, some event organizers were also in attendance at the launch. Some of the events returning for this year include Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Rhythms on da Runway, Kids in Tourism, GT Bank Concern, BHIM Concert, Joyful Way and A Taste of Ghana. There are some exciting new events also added to this year’s calendar of events, which will soon to be announced in the coming weeks.
The Western Regional Coordinating Council led by the Regional Minister , Hon Kobby Okyere Darko Mensah and the Ghana Tourism Authority have held a stakeholder engagement with Event Organisers, the Masqueraders Federation, Tour operators, Captains of media, hoteliers, food vendors and academia on the “Takoradi – city of Christmas project”.
The project in its third year also falls in line with the planned December in GH program being championed by the Ghana Tourism Authority as part of the Beyond the Return Project.
Welcoming the participants, the Regional Minister reiterated the committmenr of the RCC to make the Western Region the number one tourism destination in Ghana and called on all practitioners to team up with the Regional Adminstration to make this feasible. The Ghana Tourism Authority through its CEO also pledged its commitment to work in partnership with the Tourism Stakeholders to make the Takoradi Christsms city project, anchored on the masquareders parade a success.
The line up of activities starting from December 19 through to Jan 2, 2023 includes musical concerts, daily masquareders parades, trade exhibition, football matches amongst others.