How has Ghana performed in global tourism rankings in the last 10 years?

Tourism is one of the key drivers of economies globally. In Ghana, the tourism industry remains one of the highest foreign exchange earners after cocoa, gold and oil & gas.

Various governments have attempted to implement projects aimed at improving tourism and its contribution to Ghana’s GDP. For instance, the incumbent government in 2019 hosted ‘The Year of Return’ which encouraged Africans in the diaspora to visit, settle and invest in Ghana. After the reported success of the initiative, the government followed it with ‘Beyond the Return’.

On March 8, 2023, President Akufo-Addo claimed his government’s efforts in tourism have made Ghana the number one destination in West Africa according to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI). This was highlighted in his speech on the State of the Nation Address (SONA) on the floor of Parliament.

However, Fact-Check Ghana in a report flagged the President’s claim as false. The report indicated that Cape Verde is currently ranked as the number one tourist destination in West Africa, not Ghana.

In this article, Fact-Check Ghana presents data on how Ghana has performed in the last ten years in global tourism rankings under both Forner President Mahama and President Akufo Addo using data from World Economic Forum’s TTDI.

For the past fifteen (15) years, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI) ranks countries in the world measures “the set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable and resilient development of the Travel and Tourism (T&T) sector, which in turn contributes to the development of a country.”

Published biennially, the TTDI highlights factors such as the enabling environment for travel and tourism policy, prioritization of travel and tourism in an economy, environmental sustainability and the natural and cultural resources and business travels in its ranking. Below is a table indicating how Ghana has fared in the TTDI rankings since 2013.

Year  Global West Africa
2021 101st 2nd
2019 115th 4th
2017 120th 6th
2015 120th 5th
2013 117th 4th

Source: World Economic Forum’s TTDI

From the table above, Ghana’s best ranking in West Africa and globally in the last ten years was in 2021 when the county placed 2nd and 101st respectively. The country’s worst in the global rankings was in 2015 and 2017. The year 2017 is also the worst position for Ghana in the West Africa ranking.

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