GHANA TOURISM: SCRAP SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS

Posted on January 11, 2011

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In May, 2009 I posted A Visa to Ghana for President Obama which presented an argument to scrap short term tourist visas. The piece, which madinghana helped write, appeared in Volume Two Issue One Spring/Summer 2009 of DESTINATION GHANA , an in-flight magazine edited and published by Festus Tumi.

Following the publication of the magazine, madinghana placed copies of the magazine in the four rooms of FOUR VILLAGES INN with the following request to travellers staying at the inn:

PLEASE READ THE PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE ON SCRAPING SHORT TERM TOURIST VISAS TO GHANA AND E-MAIL YOUR RESPONSE TO THE GHANA TOURIST BOARD.

Well, a recent FOUR VILLAGES INN guest just copied to madinghana his e-mail response to the Ghana Tourist Board entitled “Ghana Tourism: uncompetitive”. I share it with you in the hope that you might join the conversation….

Sirs,

I returned from a wonderful 10 day visit with my family (wife and two
children, 9 and 6) to Ghana yesterday. During our visit we met no other
families with small children from Europe. We did not expect to because of
the factor below:

Pre-travel costs of visiting example African destinations:
Family of 4, excludes travel, accommodation etc.

Egypt $0
Ghana $1,285
South Africa $0

The Ghana costs are made up as follows:

Tourist Visa 4 x £40 £160
Agency fees for visa (it is not easily available without an agent) 4 x £55
plus VAT = £277.32
Yellow fever immunization 4 x £50 = £200
Prescription for Malaria tablets 4 x £12 = £48
Malaria pills (from low cost website) £150
TOTAL £827.32 = $1,285

In addition the way the tourist visa appears on the website, with confusing
links to visa agency sites, feels very ‘Third World’ and off-putting.

These costs make Ghana completely uncompetitive as a tourist option, despite
the relatively short travel time, excellent weather during the European
winter and identical time zone. For Ghana to be considered as an option for
European tourists the visa requirement must go or, at worst be made easily
accessible via the website and without appearing to need an agent to get it.

The e-mail address for the GHANA TOURIST BOARD is:

gtb@africaonline.com.gh

and you can always copy your response to the comments section of the madinghana blog.

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Posted in: GHANA TOURISM