The Market


Ghana's tourism industry is poised for sustained high performance in the coming decade. It is estimated that over 1,035,000 international tourist will arrive in Ghana in 2021 This estimate has however been revised as arrivals in 2011 stood at 1,080,220. Ghana is the top cultural destination in Africa, as she receives the largest number of tourists who visit Africa for cultural purposes ranking amongst the top 10 tourism destinations in Africa.

The percentage of international tourist arrivals by purpose in 2008 and 2009 are presented below.

International Arrivals by purpose of visit, 2008                                          


International Arrivals by purpose of visit, 2009

Source: Ghana Tourist Board
The international tourist arrivals in Ghana increased from 698,069 in 2008 to 802,779 in 2009 with the receipts for these periods as US$ 1,403.1 million and US$1,615.2 million respectively. The summary of arrivals at 30 tourists sites in 2009 totaled 514,835 and in 2008, total arrivals at 33 sites was 637,550.

In 2008 the United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and France were the lead countries in terms of tourist arrival outside Africa. Nigeria, Cote D'Ivoire, Togo and South Africa top the list of tourist in Africa visiting Ghana.

Ghana embarked on the Harmonized Standards for Accommodation and catering establishments in the Sub-region (ECOWAS) Standards for the classification of its hotels in 2006. The operators have been assisted in implementing these standards by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB). This standardization by the operators resulted in total number of 20,788 rooms and 26, 057 beds in 2007 from a total of 1,432 hotels registered.

The numbers of hotels in 2008 went up by 11.28% to 1,775 in 2009 which resulted in the increase in the number of rooms and beds by 6.7% and 7.1% respectively. The hotel establishment increase to 1,795 in 2010 with the corresponding number of rooms and beds as 28,058 and 34,288.

There is increasing evidence that Ghana is the preferred conference destination in Africa as more organizations choose Ghana for their conferences. Statistics also show that other West African nationals prefer to do business in Ghana, which is evidenced by the increasing number of airlines servicing the country.

Ghana has strong cultural and historic links with both the USA and Europe. To meet the needs of these markets, the country has developed targeted programmes and events some of which include:

• The Emancipation Day is an annual celebration of the freedom gained by Africans at home and abroad, after 400 years of slavery. The celebration which begins in the last week of July and climaxing on August 1st is the anniversary of the declaration of the emancipation of slaves. It is during this time of year when Ghana consolidates to commemorate and atone for the many lives lost to the African holocaust. Ghana's celebration of the event, the first on the African continent which began in 1998, is aimed at consistently developing a unique sense of unity, co-operation and understanding amongst Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora.


• The Unique Culture heritage (festivals, music and dance, unique art and folklore) and rich historical heritage (world heritage monuments, Pan Africanism, Etc.,).There is a renewed interest in traditional festivals and events.
• The Hang and Paragliding Festival held in the Eastern Region of Ghana during the Easter Holidays. In 2007, the festival gained the participation of 26 international gliders, attracting 7000 people. The year 2010 saw the resuscitation of the event which equally attracted a huge number of international gliders.

• A Regatta is organized in Elmina, Central Region for fisher folk, creating an opportunity to develop domestic tourism

• The older parts of Accra will be redeveloped and beautified under the Old Accra 2015 strategy.