Ghana's Tourism Authority spent GH¢6 million on ‘Year of Return’ campaign, here's how

Ghana’s Tourism Authority has revealed that it spent about GH¢6 million in marketing ‘Year of Return’ both locally and internationally.

Ghana's Tourism Authority spent GH¢6 million on ‘Year of Return’ campaign, here's how

“We spent somewhere in the region closer to GH¢6 million, so that is like a $1 million to market this locally, internationally including all the supports,” the Authority said.

According to the Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, Akwesi Agyemang, the expenditure did not include spending on media documentaries.

“It has been like a miracle if you look at even the media aspect of this; having Aljazeera, BBC, CNN, Ebony Magazine, Essence and all of them here, we even had Buzzfeed coming in to do another documentary, we couldn’t have paid for the media,” he said.

He made the revelation while he spoke to Accra based Citi FM on Monday, December 30, 2019.

The CEO noted that although the government spent such amount on the programme, the returns far exceeded government’s expenditure.

“We did more with the little that we had, that is why we didn’t go having big flamboyant campaigns on international media. We went directly to the people that could give us the numbers. We used more of an influencer approach to the marketing…We did a lot of social media, we did Google Ads. We really went digital more than any other thing,” he added.

Ghana’s Year of Return

Launched last year, The Year of Return is an initiative by Akufo-Addo led government that seeks to encourage African diasporans to come specifically to Ghana to settle and invest in the country.

The initiative has been a great success thus far. According to figures released by the Ghana Immigration Service, Americans arriving in Ghana increased by 26% to their highest ever rate between January and September 2019.

The numbers of visitors from the UK (24%), Germany (22%), South Africa (10%) and Liberia (14%) also grew. All told, Ghana reportedly issued 800,000 visas this year and this week announced that all nationalities will be eligible to receive a visa on arrival for the next month or so due to the heavy demand.

While the Year of Return has been laudable in many ways, however, its exclusive focus on the transatlantic slave trade, with the US at the centre, has erased other crucially important aspects and legacies of Ghana’s history of slavery, according to some critics.

Although 2019 has ended the various programmes have not ended yet.

Mr Agyeman said more programmes will continue in the new year, hence, more Africans in the diaspora are expected to still make their way in the country.

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