Day 86: @VisaFreeGhana
So there’s this awesome campaign that I signed and joined some months back. The aim is very simple. Increase the number of tourists into the country by decreasing the number obstacles, namely the fact that getting a visa to Ghana is just so difficult.
A 30-day visa to Ghana from the UK costs £50. This is not a standardised price, so it could be more or less in the USA, Holland or Canada. It’s free to visitors from Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. That’s fine since so many of these are African countries and the Pan-African in me agrees that if anyone should be given free access to our country it’s other Africans first. BUT the reality is that other Africans do not have the disposable income to be able to visit Ghana frequently,or to spend a lot of money when they do arrive. It feels like the highest ‘taxed’ visitors come from the countries hosting the greatest number of Ghanaian expatriates. I don’t think that’s fair.
The government’s department in charge of tourism really do think that marketing Ghana as a peaceful democracy and great place to do business is the key to ranking up their tourist volume. It’s not. Millennials are the fastest growing demographic of tourists. I’m one! We want excitement, adventure, voluntourisms, cute underprivileged children to hold our hand and ask us to take them to America even after they’ve found out we’re from the UK. We want beach raves and strange food. We want a WISH YOU WERE HERE moment and none of that happens in an office or conference hall detailing the potential revenue a country seeks to earn some time 6 decades from now.
This campaign has been brought to the attention of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hannah Tetteh. She says she has considered the argument but her position will not change. I don’t think she has considered it enough. Help us make this campaign too big to be ignored and when we are successful, come and visit Ghana, it’s a great place to be.
This post is because I thought I should add my voice to that of my friend Christopher Scott who has admirably championed it for some time now. If you agree, click on the link at the top of the post, join the group, sign the change.org petition. Don’t forget to share this post and the group and petition. Thank you. As you were.
I was doing some random research a while ago I can’t remember why. Here’s some stats I came across that I think supports the post: 53% of tourists in Europe are aged between 15-44 (a Millennial is anyone up to about 35). The largest age group of visitors to Singapore were 25-34 year olds and the constitute 22.7% of visitors, followed by 21.8% beging 35-44 year olds.