GHATOF launches Marhaba Tourism Festival to mark ‘Year of Return 2019’

Dignitaries at the launch

The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF) has launched the Marhaba Tourism Festival as part of the ‘Year of Return – Ghana 2019’ celebrations.

The Festival is slated from July 18 -20, 2019 and is an initiative to “properly” welcome Africans in the diaspora who yearn to return to the continent, especially Ghana which is the epicenter of the return.

The launch was characterized by the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the Federation. The festival is dubbed “Building Bonds; A Stimulus for Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Development”

Activities of the event will include a fraternity welcome event at Prampram beach, opening ceremony comprising a Durbar of chiefs and roots reggae homecoming at Trade Fair and a business to business investment summit at the Accra Tourist Information Centre.

Madam Bella Ahu, the President of GHATOF said the maiden edition of the Festival would be packed with lots of activities to make the returnees feel at home and settle.

She said GHATOF was instrumental in the setting up of the tourism fund and a major contributor through its numerous associations.

She appealed to the Minister to respond to their call for support and commended the GTA for providing office space for the Federation.

Madam Ahu noted that more work needed to be done when it came to issues surrounding the tourism industry and called on stakeholders and the media to help to propagate the message of the Festival.

CEO of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) Mr Akwasi Agyeman, said the introduction of Mahraba Festival would stand the test of time and elevate the expectations of the diaspora on what to expect in the coming years after the Year of Return.

He pledged the support of the Authority to the Federation to make the celebration a success.

The Ghana Tourism Federation is the umbrella body for all tourism and hospitality trade associations in the country that seek the interest of the private sector and act as an advocate and liaison between government and the private sector.

It currently consists of 27 trade associations.