The recent announcement of a visa waiver agreement between Ghana and South Africa has brought into sharp focus the prospects of mutually beneficial tourism promotion between the two countries.
Both Ghana and South Africa have, in the recent past, focused on aggressive destination marketing.
In August 2022, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) signed a revolutionary Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gauteng Tourism Authority of South Africa.
The MoU seeks to facilitate and strengthen trade, tourism, and investment relations between Ghana and its South African counterparts.
With tourism being a high source of revenue for both countries, the tourism authorities must build on it to cooperate, exchange knowledge, and leverage their learnings to maximise their tourism potential.
The agreement highlights areas of cooperation in various sections of tourism development, including joint destination marketing, leveraging MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions) markets, and the exchange of best practices in professional event coordination and support for SMMEs.
Mr. Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), together with Gauteng Tourism CEO, Sthembiso Dlamini, signed this agreement, charting a new course for the nation’s tourism sector.
In 2019 alone, Ghana recorded over 18,381 South Africans visiting the country, an impressive number that keeps growing annually.
“Ghana is fast becoming the vacation destination for the world, most especially in December.
“With record numbers trooping into the country, it is important to share knowledge with the continent and gain some more insights on how to manage the influx of tourists into Ghana.
“We are optimistic that this agreement will go a long way towards putting Africa and not only Ghana on the global map as the preferred destination for travel. Along with the high number of tourists also come numerous jobs for our nationals, and this is the way to go,” Akwasi Agyeman said.
Ghana and South Africa continually sign agreements and put in place policies to facilitate easy travel and doing business with each other.
The visa waiver agreement allows citizens of both countries to travel visa-free for a cumulative period of up to 90 days without recourse to work.
This agreement will take effect on November 1, 2023. This was made known by Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in a post made on the social networking platform X, where it said both countries have entered into an “agreement on a visa waiver regime for holders of ordinary passports.”
“Travellers may transit through, depart from, and stay in the territory of both countries for a cumulative period of up to 90 days without recourse to work.”