DESTINATION GHANA-SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS

Posted on August 11, 2009

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You’ve read about scrapping short term tourist visas before in the post A VISA FOR OBAMA published on the 18-05-09 on this blog, categorized under Obama in Ghana.

Well, Festus Tumi, publisher of DESTINATION GHANA was at our last Ghana Hotels Association meeting held on August 6th to pass out copies of the latest DESTINATION GHANA in flight magazine with the hope of attracting advertises for the next issue that will highlight ASHANTI.

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Well, yours truly took advantage of the situation to once again draw our membership’s attention-and there were over 70 hotels represented at the meeting-to the argument presented in the Publisher’s message and, most important, TO RESPOND BY E-MAIL TO THE GHANA TOURIST BOARD.

I also had to say, “This is democracy in action. Write!”

In case you didn’t see the argument, here’s a copy. WHY DON’T YOU JOIN THE ARGUMENT?

AN ARGUMENT: NO VISA REQUIREMENT FOR SHORT STAY VISITORS TO GHANA

With successful free and fair elections just held at the end of 2008, democracy reigns in Ghana.  In this spirit Destination Ghana (DG) would like to use this platform to try to generate discussion on scrapping Ghana’s existing visa requirements for short stay visitors.

DG feels that the government should consider this  if Ghana is to reach her maximum foreign tourism potential in this highly competitive industry. Just on this continent, titans of tourism such as South Africa, Tanzania and Egypt have long got rid of entry visas for short term guests. These countries tourism revenues continue to far exceed those of Ghana. Closer to home, the Gambia, Senegal and Cape Verde, leading tourist centres in West Africa, have no visa requirements for short stay visitors.

Often Ghana is compared to Malaysia since both countries gained independence in 1957. For 2007, Ghanaian government sources announced that Ghana accrued approximately US$ 1 billion from the foreign tourism sector. Malaysia, on the other hand, earned over 40 times that number. Yes, Malaysia has spent much more than Ghana promoting herself on the international stage, but they also have adopted no visa requirement for short stay visitors. It makes sense that Ghana, a country with a small promotional budget, would adopt such a policy. Furthermore, most of the Caribbean islands that goes head to head with Ghana for the sun worshipper dollar have waived visa requirements for short stay visitors despite having similar stringent requirements for locals going out of the country.

Having no visa requirement will mean tourists will have one less stressful bureaucratic hurdle to jump through. Often visa applications can cause delay and travelers are forced to change or cancel their travel plans. This can give Ghana a negative image abroad and can cause financial loss to the national tourism revenue.

If as a tourist or local  service provider wish  to support our position, e-mail your comments  to the Director of Operations at the  Ghana  Tourist Board” at gtb@africaonline.com.gh  with a copy to Destination Ghana at nomorevisas@fotomagikpublications.com.

This will give further living proof that democracy is alive and thriving in Ghana!

The Publishers


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