The official tourism website of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), “Visit Ghana” has won the award for the category of Arts and Culture Media of the Year Blog at the maiden edition of Ghana Arts and Culture Awards (GACA) held at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) on Saturday, 7th December 2019.

The website came to fruition after the initiative by the Authority, under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer, Akwasi Agyeman, was undertaken as a means to champion the digital transformation within the industry. The website showcases and promotes tourist attraction sites in Ghana, the hospitality sector, media relations as well as events, conferences and fairs. The Visit Ghana website, managed by the Digital Unit of the GTA hosts a number of in-house articles and salient information from feature articles to photo journals with input from the various departments such as Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Research, making it a fully-fledged website solely created to the promotion of tourism and the arts within the country and beyond.

The award was received on behalf of the Board of Directors, Management and staff of the Authority by Mr. Kofi Atta Kakra Kusi, a Senior Corporate Affairs Officer of the GTA. Receiving the award, Mr. Kusi indicated the Year of Return and its impact on local arts and culture, citing that the campaign has generated an influx of visitors from the diaspora and beyond wherein they patronized arts and cultural products within the country, ranging from food, music, clothing and local craft-work. He added that the Year of Return improved Diaspora relations, stimulated economy, increase international arrivals, international media coverage, community involvement, high profile visits and celebrity involvements.

Social media reach has substantially increased global media attention on Ghana and is valued at 1.9 million US Dollars. Year of Return has been covered domestically and internationally over 1000 times by Television, Print, Radio and online media sources with reporters from around the world travelling to Ghana to cover the campaign and to highlight the country of Ghana as a historic, cultural, vibrant and innovation hub.

He noted that the Advertising Value Equivalency (AVE) measures the equivalent amount of earned media if the space was paid for, meaning that the Year of Return has an AVE value of 3.5 million US Dollars. Year of Return has positively influenced the change in the narrative on what international media reports about Africa and Ghana. He emphasised that Ghana has been in the international media spotlight since the launch of the Year of Return in September 2018 by His Excellency the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. A record number of more than 200 African Diasporans have been granted Ghanaian Citizenship by the President of the Republic. Land has been offered to Diasporans for resettlement in various regions of Ghana which includes Central Region, Western, and others.

Furthermore, he stated that the increased number of travellers in Ghana has positively impacted private sector industries such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, arts and crafts dealers and many more. The Ghana Tourism Authority has indicated reports of 100% hotel capacity for the last week of December as made known by Hoteliers. He further used the opportunity to urge all present to engage in the innovative domestic tourism campaign dubbed, “See Ghana, Eat Ghana, Wear Ghana, Feel Ghana” Campaign as a way to collectively promote tourism and the arts of the country within their spheres and locales.

The Ghana Arts and Culture Awards (GACA) is an awards scheme dedicated to honour the movers and shakers who have contributed to the country’s arts and culture. It was launched in partnership with the National Commission on Culture (NCC), the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the National Folklore Board (NFB) under the auspices of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MOTAC) as an event to recognize the art and culture of Ghana as a valuable and beneficial asset.