Stanbic Bank Ghana and the Industrial Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), have agreed to promote and increase visitor turnouts into Ghana for tourism and trade purposes.
With China as the world’s number one source of market for tourism, with 129 million outbound trips in 2017, the two banks hope to leverage on the number to meet expectations of Chinese tourists offering opportunities for economic boost in any country they visit.
The initiative, christened ‘I Go Ghana’, will offer special discounts on ICBC cards to Chinese tourists who visit Ghana.
The initiative is in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture and its implementing agency, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
Tourism Minister and stakeholders
Tourism Minister, Mrs. Catherine Abelemah Afeku, at the event, said Ghana is a hidden treasure which is yet to market itself to the world.
“One of our marketing catch phrase which is, ‘See Ghana’ falls within this agenda to drive in more international tourists,” she said.
She lauded the ‘I Go Ghana’ initiative as very important in introducing the country to the international community.
Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) CEO, Mr. Akwasi Agyeman explained that China remains an important inbound destination for the GTA and for that, the authority has taken steps to ensure that the local industry is well equipped to host the Chinese traveler.
“This collaboration further opens up the opportunity for us to enter the Chinese market and to ensure that Ghana remains an interesting and enticing destination,” he said.
Head of Card and Emerging Payments for Standard Bank Group, Lincoln Mali, said: “China has emerged as a key economic partner for Africa in recent years, adding, “through the ‘I Go Ghana’ programme, Standard Bank wants to strengthen relations between Ghana and China through trade and tourism.”
The arrangement, Mali believes, will benefit the economies of both countries through trade and other economic purposes.
With the initiative to further support Africa-China relations, Stanbic Bank has enabled acceptance of Union Pay International cards on the bank’s Point of Sale devices.
The move means, customers traveling from China can use their standard issue Union Pay International card to make purchases at all participating ‘I Go Ghana’ merchants.
Stanbic Bank Ghana MD, Mr. Alhassan Andani, said the initiative will unlock growth potentials in Ghana’s tourism sector.
“With China’s recent population of more than 1.3 billion, there are potentials that any country can tap into with regard to attracting tourists and expanding economic growth,” he said.
Deputy CEO of ICBC Africa, Mr. Gang Sun, mentioned that with the further development of ICBC internationalization, the bank would continue to provide its superior products and services in external markets.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe