Ghana recorded a 16 per cent growth in international tourist arrivals in 2006.
A press release issued by the Ghana Tourist Board in Accra on Friday, said 4,281,533 international tourists visited Ghana in 2005, but the figure increased to 497,129 in 2006.
The highest growth rate of 25.6 per cent was recorded in May and the lowest of negative 1.4 per cent was in June.
The trend indicated positive growth rates throughout the year with the exception of June.
In nominal terms the highest arrival figure of 56,007 was generated in August 2006 which coincided with the Emancipation Day Celebration whilst the lowest figure of 32,220 was in June the same period.
On the purpose of visit, the release said 113,707 representing 26.5 per cent came to Ghana to visit friends and relations, (this group is made up mainly of Ghanaians resident abroad) while 92.840 of the visitor traffic came for business.
It said 83,030 representing 19 per cent were here for holidays, 11 per cent of all visitors to Ghana (48,662) in 2006 were on transit, whilst Conferences/Meetings attracted 36,687 (8.6 per cent).
Those who came to study in the educational institutions were 28,707 (6.6 per cent) with health tourism attracting a mere 4,308 or 1 per cent of the traffic.
On Domestic Tourism, the release indicated that 387,341 visitors criss-crossed Ghana to visit 30 selected tourist sites in 2006. Of this figure, 298,866 representing 77.1 per cent were resident in Ghana with 854,862 being non-residents, representing 22.2 per cent of the total traffic.
In the area of Tourist Expenditure, the Ghana Tourist Board indicated that tourists spent 32 per cent of their monies on accommodation, whilst 17 per cent went into entertainment and recreation.
Food and beverage attracted 15 per cent of the tourist expenditure, 10 percent was spent on shopping (formal markets including Gift Shops, Supermarkets) and 9 per cent on shopping at informal markets( Makola etc.)
Transportation (taxis, car rentals, and others) took 9 per cent.
The release said as at the end of 2006, Ghana could boast of 1, 405 hotels, 19,967 hotel rooms and 28,006 beds against 1,344 hotels, 18,632 rooms and 23,915 in 2005.
Source: The Ghanaian Times
2 April 2007. Page 18.