The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elizabeth Ofosu-Adjare has described government’s decision to issue visa on arrival to citizens of the African Union (AU) as an opportunity to boost investments in the country. Ghana is to start issuing visa on arrival to citizens of all 54 AU member countries from July 2016.
President John Mahama disclosed this during the country’s Independence Day Celebration in Accra. Ghana currently offers visa-free entry for citizens of 15 countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Speaking at the sidelines of the 50th International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, Mrs. Ofosu-Adjare said the president’s announcement will ensure that travellers go through a hassle-free process in the acquisition of visa. “Visa has always been a challenge for travellers and now that you don’t need to acquire a visa prior to your journey, it will encourage more people to come and see our beautiful country,” she maintained. She also underscored the investment and job-creation opportunities the move holds for especially the country’s tourism sector.
“There will be good businesses for hotels, restaurants and it also encourages people to invest in our country. When there is more traffic, there is the need for this people to sleep in hotels and eat in restaurants. What it means is that if you invest in hotels and restaurants, there will be good returns on your investments. The more the restaurants and the hotels, the more people they will employ” she noted. Mrs Ofosu-Adjare also held discussions with Secretary General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Dr. Taleb Rifai and colleague Tourism Ministers from Kenya, Gambia and Sierra Leone. The sector minister led Ghana’s delegation to participate in the 50th International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Berlin. The delegation included officials from the Ghana Tourism Authority and Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Creative Arts as well as private players in the tourism sector such as Sunseekers Tours, Jet Away Travels, Land Tours, Apstar Tours, Ghana Airports Company Limited, Golden Tulip Hotel Accra, and Ghana Tourist Development Company.