Ghana has recorded 170,696 international arrivals in the first quarter of this year.
This showed a percentage growth of 72.5 from 2021 first quarter arrivals of 98,950 and a positive sign of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to normalcy.
However, tourist receipts for the first quarter according to the ministry were not yet available.
The Acting Director in charge of Policy Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation at MoTAC, Mr Geoffrey Tamakloe, disclosed this to the Ghanaian Times in Accra.
He said the international arrivals were from all entry points in the country which included the Kotoka International Airport (KIA), Elubo, Paga, Aflao and some smaller points.
According to him, KIA recorded the highest arrivals of 99.6 per cent out of the 170,696.
He added that other entry points such asElubo, Paga and Aflao constituted 0.4 per cent of the total arrivals.
“From the data, you could see that, first quarter of 2020 arrivals kept falling up to 2021 first quarter when it realised lowest fall due to COVID-19, and begun to rise in 2022 with a percentage increase of about 72.5,” he added.
MrTamakloe said the top 10 arrival countries recorded for the first quarter included USA, Nigeria, UK, India, Germany, Liberia, Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, and Cote d’Ivoire.
“America, Nigeria and UK continueto occupy the first three spots on the top 10lists,” he said.
He noted that the first quarter international arrivals analysis saw two new entries into the top 10 list of arrival countries, which were Indians and Liberians occupying the 4th and 6th spots respectively.
MrTamakloesaid the annual total international arrivals recorded for last year were 623,523 which represent 75. 59 per cent.
He said this showed a slight increaseof 268,415 from 2020, record of 355,108 representing 68.58 per cent after the COVID-19 pandemic recovery.
He said the ministry recorded $803.8 million tourist receipts last year.
The Acting Director said, 2020 received $387.1 million of tourist receipts representing -88.3 per cent.
On expenditure, he said the ministry recorded average tourist expenditure of $1,289 million representing 18.26 per cent as compared to $1,090 representing -62.81 per cent in 2020.
MrTamakloe reiterated that the ministry had targeted two million tourist arrivals with an estimated revenueof $5 billion by the end of the year.
He said as part of efforts to achieve the target, the ministry would collaborate with various agencies under the ministry to initiate measures to generate revenue to the sector.
He said the Destination Ghana Project which was recently launched in London, with the objective of helping to drive one million international tourists from Europe to Ghana, was part of the strategic initiative.
MrTamakloe said the ministry was committed to changing the face of Ghana’s tourism industry, with strategic policy directions that would enable rake in huge financial gains for the sector, thus, making it the number one contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR