As part of its objective to develop domestic tourism, through Ghanaian culture and creative arts, the Ghana Tourism Authority under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its partner agencies has outdoored the “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana” campaign in a bid which also aimed at igniting the ‘’I am Ghanaian’’ spirit.
The campaign which was launched in the gardens of the Christiansburg castle, a former slave holding and administrative seat of colonial government in demonstration of Ghanaian ownership of her heritage and destiny, seeks to invoke the spirit of nationalism through sounds, distinct sights and the fusion of traditional food drawn from each of the 10 regions of Ghana.
The multimedia integrated campaign is expected to provide a platform for existing cultural and historic events such as traditional festivals and new initiatives like PANAFEST. It is also to identify and engage entrepreneurs whose innovation in providing goods and services supports domestic tourism with value chains for small and medium size companies.
The campaign will revisit viable and stalled previous efforts to rebrand historic sights and market Ghana as well as become a one stop shop for where one can find what he/she needs in the tourism space.
In her keynote address, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Catherine Afeku noted that the campaign was to mark the beginning of a re-awakening of a sense of national pride adding that the feeling of believing in ourselves should reaffirm our individual conviction and thus inform our contribution towards the development and promotion of Ghanaian tourism.
“We are mindful of the fact at this time in our history where creative and cultural industries contribute so much to economies all over the world, the Ghanaian creative and cultural industries should be given the boost for them to operate effectively” she added.
According to her, a little push therefore should put Ghana in a brisk and more favourable competition thus the institutionalization of the “See, Eat, Wear, Feel Ghana” campaign.
Ghana has a huge tourism potential with an exciting range of products from culture, eco-tourism, heritage, beach and conference tourism serving as unique ingredients of any enticing destination.
The Ghana Shared Growth and Development Agenda I and II stipulates the need to forge a holistic and integrated approach towards enhancing the economic viability of cultural institutions and the resourcefulness of practitioners as well as developing local markets and gaining access to international markets.
The GSDA also affirms that the development of cultural villages as critical appendages to tourism is fast gaining economic relevance as a source of revenue generation and employment creation.
Findings by UNCTAD indicates that in 2000 trade in cultural goods and services worldwide was valued at US$ 2.2 trillion and continues to grow at 5% annually. Available statistics on total exports of Ghanaian handicrafts shows an increase of 47% from US$ 2.78 million in 2010 to US$ 4.099 million in 2012.
It is therefore envisaged that the campaign would further forge a holistic and integrated approach towards enhancing the economic viability of our cultural institutions and the resourcefulness of practitioners, reviving traditional technologies, developing local markets and gaining access to international markets with citizens as the main actors.
Key activities outlined for the campaign over the months of July, August and September include: an integrated campaign to promote and support cultural festivals and events, profiling of people, little known stories and factoids and the creation of an integrated Ghanaian Business Database- enabling a meeting of industry, tradition, culture, technology and the diaspora.
The auspicious and colourful occasion saw the exhibition of made in Ghana products which comprised foods, handicrafts, clothing, drinks and a lot more. It was graced by personalities from a broad spectrum of society, including members of the diplomatic corps, public officials, and members within the arts, culture and the creative fraternity with entertainment being provided by the likes of Okyeame Kwame, Nana Asaase, Ghana Dance Ensemble, Abibigroma and others.