Tourism has always been of major importance to the development of ghana. Besides tourism expanding recognition of the country, it is known to be a constant annual contribution to the economy. In 2019, tourism became the third major economic contributor to international investments, thanks to the Year of Return Campaign.
This campaign was a huge success, mainly because of its appeal to the diaspora population. The result of that success was a finalized tourism blueprint meant to help boost the international awareness of the nation. The onset of the pandemic was an unforeseen occurrence, which greatly affected the tourism sector, and in turn, the entire economy.
In this article, we find innovative ways to diversify tourism in Ghana to attract a diverse demographic in future years for economic development. .
Improving niche markets
One of the surest ways tourism in Ghana can be diversified to bring in more revenue is by using the various niche segments in the tourism sector. Currently, the country boasts of some of the largest national parks, UNESCO world heritage sites, and diverse wildlife in West Africa.
Over the last couple of years, there has been an improvement in wildlife tourism and safari visits, with this niche contributing over &70 billion and employing over 8 million people. This shows that a steady improvement and development of other niches will provide even greater revenue and larger job opportunities for the masses.
Besides safari visits and wildlife tours to the ever-popular Kakum National Park, Shai Hills Resource Reserve, and Mole National Park, Ghana is filled with a vast array of wildlife in the Bobiri Forest, The Butterfly Sanctuary, and Monkey Sanctuary. From butterflies to manatees, antelopes, and even elephants, there’s a high potential for ecotourism which can expand into wellness tourism.
Another niche that can be developed is water sports and adventure tourism, which will fully use the nation’s surf-friendly coastline. Our sandy and stretchy beaches are well known for their scenic views, but not so much for water sports.
While it is true that Ghana and its tourism advances are well known abroad, this popularity is limited to specific areas only. The number of international visitors coming into the country has increased a great deal, thanks to the efforts of the Ghana Tourism Authority, but it can be made better.
Currently, marketing is centered and focused on the diaspora within the United States of America. In developing this, the GTA will need to introduce Ghana and its brand to other markets, such as Europe and Asia. Some existing campaigns that can help the nation achieve this include India’s Incredible India campaign and South Africa’s ‘Inspiring New Ways campaign.
Concerning marketing, the government can also liaise with private investors involved in developing projects such as Airport City Accra and other luxury resorts to offer more than just sites and sounds to international visitors. Giving them a taste of luxury away from home through partnership campaigns is one sure way to attract new source markets. .
Explore technology for tourism
There’s so much to gain when technology is part of the tourism sector. This has more to do with the experience created for visitors than making the work of the GTA easier. With areas such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality, there’s so much to gain with technology and tours.
One great way to incorporate technology is via virtual reality at heritage sites. Visitors can be made to experience life in the past through VR equipment. All senses are activated from sites to scents to give them an experience unlike any other.
Offsite technology is also extremely important, such as websites, apps, and payments platforms. The smoother each experience is, the more likely you will have recurring visitors.
As the nation’s tourism sector still recovers from the effects of the pandemic, there’s so much Ghana needs to work on ot maintain this critical economic driver. The use of technology, improved and expansive marketing strategies, and the exploration of new niches are a sure way to diversify source markets and encourage overall economic development.