The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has launched the 2020 edition of the “December in Ghana” event, with a target to attract some 400,000 travellers into the country for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
It will involve a series of activities from December 17, 2020, to January 3, 2021, cutting across a wide range of both outdoor, indoor, hybrid and virtual events.
“December in Ghana” is an initiative under the “Beyond the Return Project”, and seeks to create an experience intended to showcase Ghana as a global destination for the Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Effect of pandemic
Unveiling the events in Accra last Wednesday, the Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyemang, stated that this year’s event was originally meant to compete with last year’s activities.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, he said, the authority had been forced to adjust and adapt, and as a result, this year’s activities had been carefully selected, evaluated and strictly subjected to the necessary protocols in order not to compromise the national health situation.
“Since the reopening of the airport in September, we’ve seen a gradual increase in the inflow into the country, and our domestic travel promotion is also picking up. This is because people who ordinarily would’ve gone outside the country to celebrate Christmas are now patronising our domestic tour sites,” Mr Agyemang indicated.
He expressed optimism that the activities would help the country to recoup losses made as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions and the ban on international travels.
Providing the operational guidelines for the activities, the CEO for GTA said all the activities would be managed by personnel of only accredited agencies in order not to compromise the health protocols.
He said venues would operate at 50 per cent capacity to ensure that the one-metre social distancing rule was adhered to.
He said health and safety officers should also be appointed for every event to ensure that the health and social distancing protocols were strictly followed.
In addition, Mr Agyemang said venues would have to be disinfected before set-up, adding that the event organisers must agree with the relevant authorities on general standards and accredited companies to offer such services.
He said there must be mandatory checking of temperature with infrared thermometer before entry, as well as the display of “no mask, no entry” signage at such venues.
He said guest attendance should also be strictly by invitation, and their contact details and residential addresses taken for possible contact tracing.
The Deputy CEO of GTA in charge of Operations, Mr Ekow Sampson, indicated that the initiative was a new tourism product expected to drive people into the country.
He said it would complement the flagship programmes of the GTA, namely WearGhana, EatGhana and FeelGhana, to showcase Ghana’s attractions, cuisines and customs.
“December in Ghana” has come to stay, and it is truly adding up to the numbers in terms of tourism arrivals and receipts. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic which hit the tourism industry globally, we are hoping to bounce back by observing all the protocols,” Mr Sampson stated.