The Deputy Head of Corporate Affairs of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi, has disclosed that the cancellation of some events in December last year in Ghana hit the Authority hard.
He noted that promoting such events prior to the Christmas festivities does not only attract domestic attention but the international audience who make earnest preparations for them.
Last year, a number of events were cancelled, notable among them was Wildaland which was slated for December 26 and December 27.
It was called off a few days before the show. The organisers cited reasons beyond their control for the cancellation.
Also, TribaVERSE Music, Arts and Culture Festival scheduled for Sunday, January 1, 2023, was called off.
Mr Kusi told Graphic Showbiz that even though the authority and other stakeholders acknowledged the challenges of event organisers, cancelling such events, which attract lots of international audiences, was not good for the positive makeup of Ghana’s image as the place to be in December.
“Let me first acknowledge and commend event organisers for holding December in GH down and making it a success with their events.
Trust me, without them, we cannot talk about the project’s achievement but as usual, there are always challenges with such a huge initiative.”
“Going forward, the Ghana Tourism Authority will be taking measures by engaging event organisers to appreciate that when these events are advertised, they become an international event in nature and not only domestic,” he noted.
Mr Kusi said that international tourists, travellers, diasporans and people of African descent during the holiday period usually do their preparations and look forward to these events.
Thus, the Ghana Tourism Authority will be engaging vendors and event organisers in the future, he added.
“However, everyone bears witness to the fact since this project started in 2019, it was only last year that some events were cancelled.
In previous years, we didn’t have such issues.”
“As such, every situation is a test case for us to sit back and then engage the event organisers to see how best we can be able to forestall such future occurrences,” he said.
Mr Kusi also pointed out that under the leadership of the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal and the CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, the various stakeholders were committed to making the Beyond the Year of Return a successful project which aims to turn Ghana’s domestic fortunes around.
“Look at the number of people who trooped to Afrochella, Afro Nation and the various events which took place last December.
This is huge for the tourism industry and it behoves us to make Ghana the preferred tourism agenda and destination.”
“The diasporans also come down to learn about Ghana’s traditions, culture and heritage, while connecting with their ancestral roots. We are also grateful to the media for trumpeting Beyond the Year of Return and its attendant December in Ghana.”
“Let us continue to work together to see the realisation of tourism as the number one foreign exchange earner since I’m confident we can use tourism to change a lot of things,” he said.
Although he could not say the exact figure, Mr Kusi said last December, Ghana received a record-breaking number of travellers from the diaspora who were entertained by featured concerts, fashion shows, and traditional festivals among many other events.