2019 Year of Return celebrations have promoted the country’s economic growth for the year. According to Mr Akwasi Agyemang, CEO of the Ghana Tourisom Authority.
Ghana named 2019 as the Year of Return to celebrate 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in the United States. Accordingly, the government has run a huge and successful marketing campaign to target African Americans and the diaspora.
Increase in travellers as a result of Year of Return
As a result, a chunk of African Americans in the Diaspora have visited Ghana as part of the celebrations. Also, Samuel Leroy Jackson, Danny Glover and Steve Harvey, all Hollywood African American celebrities have visited the country and engaged in interesting aspects of the Year of Return celebrations.
Subsequently various events were held at different times in the year to mark the celebrations. Mr Akwasi Agyemeang notes that the number of visitors to the country has boosted private sector tourism, including airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and arts & crafts.
He mentioned that merchants in the arts centers have enjoyed increased sales in 2019, as compared to 2018. Also there have been increase in bookings for tour operators to areas with linkages to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.
He further reveals that the estimated spending by a tourist in 2017 was $1862. This has however increased to $2589 in 2019. Also the average stay by travelers has seen an increase from 8 to 10 days. Year of Return has additionally benefited the Ghanaian economy in these aspects; improved Diaspora relations, International media coverage, community involvement, high profile visits, and celebrity endorsements
Year of return will finally celebrate a series of events from December through to January 2020.The events will celebrate 400 years of African Resilience. They events include; December 1st 2019 Exclusive Premiere, and Perfect Picture 2, at the Labadi Beach Hotel. Also December 5th to 26th Diaspora from local to foreign art exhibition at 1 Dodi Link, and December 6th live X festival with Cardi B at Accra Sports Stadium. Lastly, December 6th to 7th Gold Coast Experience at the Black Star Square December 6th to 7th.