Guest Blogger

The Ghana Vibe: Our Tourism & Creative Economy potential & matters arising – Sadiq Abdulai

Every December, thousands from across the world come to Ghana on visits.

In 2021, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture according to the Minister of the Sector, Hon. Mohammed Awal, estimated to achieve 650,000 visits to the country with an estimated $ 2 billion dollars value to the country.

December alone was meant to contribute nearly 300,000 of these visits.

Now these was conservative numbers due to the impact of COVID-19 on global travel and tourism. In 2019, the country achieved total visitations of nearly 1 million.

It’s obvious what keeps them coming is the “Ghana vibe” well captured in our hospitality, our food, our arts, our culture and a free flowing lifestyle as if we do not have problems.

Jump into the street and just shout 3tis3n (how are you?) to anybody and you will recieve the same response even with a smile. “3y3” is responded to every “3tis3n” even by the sick.

“Laafialo” is to every “Yaayaadey” in the Ghanaian streets. Some will even respond with “Laafia kaleo Walahi” stressing how well they are even if they are facing the world’s worst problems.

Not sure how we did it, but from as far as I can remember, the country has always been a holiday’s makers spot with a vibrant entertainment and arts scene well captured in the “Ghana vibe” anchoring the activities that make the stay of holiday makers worth the while.

In times past and in recent times, most of us involved in activities that anchor our holiday makers status every December have found a good way to tap into our unique positioning in December to not only package but sell to the world, globally resonating activities that’s hard to be unlocked.

From the Akwaaba parties (which held the forte for a long time) Ghana Rocks, Rapperholics, Afronations, Afrochellas and the new baby, the Wildaland Festival, young Ghanaian men and women have leveraged unique insights, their experiences and a massive promotional power to attract attention our events and activities.

Most of us had cost lines that focused on digital marketing and international promotions as well as international or diasporan collaborations all intended to generate a certain effect.

These efforts are complemented by the activities of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) as the key state agency, co-ordinating and enabling tourism promotions and activations.

This year, the work of the GTA was heavily complemented by Global Media Alliance group via it’s radio network YFM, who enabled and amplified almost all the December activities via its “YFM Havoc” on-air, online and off-air. Kudos to Ekow Quandzie and other young Ghanaians in the team.

Now think about this carefully, what would make the Ghanaian state and some if it’s creative entrepreneurs (mainly event producers) so successful at selling and positioning the country as the foremost holiday makers spot every year attracting numbers that consistently want to come back again obviously moved by their experiences and the memories of the “Ghana vibe” in the way some of its top music acts aren’t able to?

Nigeria and a lot of African countries do have a busy December calendar too. But it’s the “Ghana vibe” the international community want.

This December, all the international media and entertainment companies focused their African activations in Ghana.

From Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Audiomack and Visa all centered their Pan-African activations in Ghana.

Mind you that, at this point, for the target audience and international brands and organisations, it wasn’t about the so-called huge numbers that Nigeria has or the size of the other countries.

It was simply about the “Ghana vibe” and the hardwork and effort of these young Ghanaians entrepreneurs and the state (GTA) that are determined to ensure Ghana a remains the foremost holiday makers spot in Africa.

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