There is the need to critically consider branding and packaging Ghana in a unique way to attract and increase visitor turnouts in the tourism sector, tourism expert and CEO of Kaya Tours, Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey has said.
Mr. Aggrey believes Ghana’s inability to identify with a tourism potential and carve a niche for itself, is creating several inconsistencies in marketing the country to the world.
In recent years, Dubai has been identified as the hub for shopping and vacations, while South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania have derived maximum returns from Safari and wildlife tourism.
Gambia, with a coastline of 80 kilometres, has been able to brand and position itself as a major beach tourism and hospitality resort on the continent, while Ghana’s 539 kilometre coastline is yet to be utilized.
Package tour operators from the UK to the Gambia, makes up over 50 percent of visitors, while the remaining number of visitors comes from Germany, Norway, Sweden and other countries.
It is estimated that around 44 percent of high season (winter) tourists are repeat visitors to the Gambia and Banjul.
“What are we actually noted for as it stands? Are we massively branding and marketing the peace that we have enjoyed for more than two decades, the festivals, the Kente, the waterfalls, the beaches, gold, cocoa, or MICE in the sub-region? Remember, Gambia has no waterfalls, cocoa, kente, or maybe gold” he told the Goldstreet Business.
Currently, there is a scanty information on what tourists actually visit Ghana for. Whether for wildlife viewing and sightseeing, education, cultural purposes among others.
However, Mr. Aggrey explained that, the inability to identify what attract tourists and visitors could be the country’s Achilles heel, as little or no effort will be made to improve on that aspect.
“We need to develop data on what tourists come here for and improve on those services. It is one of the ways to consistently give them reason to stopover repeatedly” he added.