Ghana is on its way to becoming one of the biggest tourist destinations in the world

This follows a strategy by the tourism ministry to pull in tourists with the help of fashion royalty and top creatives across the world into the country to mark its Year of Return celebration.

The tourism industry has projected to raise $8.3 billion a year by 2027, plus associated benefits, according to the plan it has for the celebration.

As the country celebrates its ‘Year of Return’, a celebration which commemorates 400 years since the first Black slave reached the shores of the new world, United States of America, most well-known faces from the African diaspora have arrived and others are still visiting the country to join the celebration.

The President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo’s announcement of the year pointed to Ghana’s tragic legacy as a reason for diaspora descendants to return and learn about this chapter of history.

Actors including Idris Elba rubbed shoulders with supermodel Naomi Campbell, TV sports presenter Mike Hill and author Luvvie Ajayi have made their way into the country.

These celebrities attended the Full Circle Festival which was held during the Christmas festive and they were taken on guided tours of the slave dungeons.

Actor and co-organiser Boris Kodjoe who is of Ghanaian who was excited after visiting the country said that “Every person of colour needs to get on this pilgrimage,” adding that, “They need to experience this journey and get in touch with their emotional heritage, walk through the dungeons and see the ‘door of no return.”

Marketing Rockstar, Bozoma Saint John, who has a series of marketing coups like Beyonce’s halftime Super Bowl show under her belt, worked with Kodjoe, an organiser of the event invited about 100 of the most influential members of the African diaspora to party with them at the festival over Christmas and New Year.

Others celebrities including Jay Z and Beyonce are yet to come into the country.

Year of Return

Ghana recently unveiled a 15-year-long tourism plan that seeks to increase the annual number of tourists to Ghana from one million to eight million per year by 2027.

The tourism ministry has named the year as a ‘Year of Return. It commemorates 400 years since the first African slaves were taken from countries like Ghana to mainland America, marking the start of the trans-Atlantic slave trade route. This timing is based on the first recorded landing of a ship carrying Africans in Virginia in August 1619.

An estimated 75% of slave dungeons on the west coast of Africa were in Ghana, millions of people were taken and transported on ships that departed from Ghanaian ports.

Descendants of these people are expected to visit the country as it is seen as their homeland.


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