#DecemberInGhana: Tour Operators See Tourists Trickling In Despite COVID-19

Joshua Fennyberl with Hollywood star Danny Glover in Accra in 2019. Photo credit: Joshua Fennyberl

In November and December 2019, Joshua Fennyberl, a tour guide for African Roots Travel made a countless number of trips to the Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport.

It was the peak season for many tour operators in the country.

The year-long campaign on the Year of Return which was sponsored by the government had paid off.

With 2019 marking 400 years since the first recorded slave ship arrived in America, a lot of African Americans saw it as a full-circle moment for them to visit the motherland.

That meant a good business season for people like Joshua.

As the year ended, the government launched the Beyond the Return campaign, as a long-lasting campaign aimed at encouraging African Americans and others in the diaspora to visit or revisit the country.

However, in February and March, all that goodwill from 2019 vanished.

Borders were closed, travel restrictions were put in place and people like Joshua were put out of business overnight.

The COVID-19 pandemic had dealt a huge blow to the tourism industry.

However, the industry seems to be picking up.

Though the airport is open for international travel, there are COVID-19 adherence guidelines in place especially for people planning on travelling to Ghana.

In America too, the COVID-19 crisis keeps getting worse by the day.

Thousands of Americans are losing their lives and many more are catching the virus on a daily basis.

Back home, tour operators are seeing a gradual increase in visits to Ghana.

“Some visitors are coming in to enjoy December in Ghana,” Joshua told Kuulpeeps.com in an interview.

“Most of them were here last year and they enjoyed it so they are coming back,” he added.

However, others are also coming to Ghana on their first visit to Africa, much like they did in 2019 but not in the same quantities.

He said most of the people who had planned to come to Ghana have rescheduled their trips to 2021.

“We have a lot of trips rescheduled to the third and fourth quarter of 2021,” Joshua said.

With the COVID-19 vaccine now available, Joshua said the tourism industry is betting on a better 2021 as compared to 2020.

Source: Kuulpeeps.com

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