Maintain visa on arrival policy – Tourism Authority advises govt

The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) wants the government to consider maintaining the visa-on-arrival policy as part of efforts to boost tourism in the country.

The Transport Ministry introduced a visa-on-arrival policy for passengers travelling to Ghana during the Christmas period in line with the ‘Beyond the Return’ initiative in order to attract more foreigners.

The policy took effect on December 22, 2022, and is expected to end on January 15, 2023.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman outlining the need for the government to sustain the intervention, said, “what our competing nations are doing, especially Senegal, Gambia and Rwanda– they say come there and get a visa-on-arrival. The airlines themselves have such infrastructure. People make that security arrangement before they go and board any aircraft. There’s that infrastructure that checks the security backgrounds of everybody.”

“They know whether you are on a terrorist list and all that. The process will take you like three weeks or a month sometimes. We have made that conscious effort, but there are some other ministries that have the mandate like the Interior Minister and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And if you need a visa, it’s their matter,” Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority.

The then Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi in 2020 said the Year of Return initiative raked in tourism receipts amounting to $3.3 billion.

According to her, the average expenditure per tourist was $2,931. She said the amount was spent in areas such as accommodation, food, and beverages, shopping, local transport, and entertainment.