Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, reveals Year of Return pumped $3.3bn into Ghana’s economy

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, has disclosed that the Year of Return initiative brought $3.3 billion.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

She explained that the average spending of each tourist was $2,391.

She stated further that the amount was spent on accommodation, food and beverages, shopping, local transport, and entertainment.

The minister said this in Parliament when she appeared to answer questions on her ministry on Thursday (May 28, 2020).

She stated that the government plans to build upon the success of the Year of Return initiative.


“By the end of 2019, the international arrivals reached 1.13 million from 956,372 in the year 2018, which was 27% growth above the global average of 5%. The average expenditure per tourist increased from $2,708 in 2018 to $2,931 in 2019. The receipts attributed to tourism is, therefore, $3.312 billion. The increased number of travelers to Ghana positively impacted five sector industries such as airlines, hotels, tour operators, restaurants, and arts and craft dealers to name a few.”

Meanwhile, the Ghana Tourism Authority earlier indicated that it spent about GH¢6 million on promoting the Year of Return campaign in and out of the country.

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

About the Year of Return

The Year of Return campaign was launched in September 2018.


The objective of the Akufo-Addo government initiative was to encourage African diasporans to specifically travel to Ghana to reconnect with their root and possibly settle and invest in the continent.

Several international celebrities came to Ghana to explore, learn, and enjoy.

Some of these celebrities who visited Ghana during the time include Steve Harvey, Nicole Ari Parker, Diggy Simmons, Micheal Jai White, Ludacris, Cardi B, and Bozoma Saint John.

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