Ghana discovers new tourism potential in Carnivals

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – If harnessed well, Carnivals have a great potential to become a huge tourism attraction in Ghana, CEO of the World Carnival Center, Pax Nindi said during Ghana’s Third Carnival which took place between July 1 and 3.

Nindi praised Ghana for holding three successful carnivals over the past three years, which have enormous potential for the country’s tourism sector.

He described the costumes designed from the colors of Ghana’s traditional Kente cloth as a winning costume in the Luton Carnival held in Britain.

The theme for the Ghana 2016 Carnival was “Our Culture Rocks” and incorporated elements of the country’s traditions, folklore, cuisine, music, dance and textiles among others.
Ghana’s traditional hand-woven Kente cloth is a unique part of that culture which identifies the country throughout the world, observed Nindi.

“I am proud of the Ghana society because there’s not many countries that can say this is the cloth from Africa. If you go to Zimbabwe we don’t have a particular cloth that we can say this represents Zimbabwe,” He said.

“But Kente, you don’t have to say it, just show the Kente to an American, Chinese or whoever, they will say, ‘that is Ghana.’ So because of that the Carnival is to be built around that so when somebody sees that carnival they will say that carnival is from Ghana,” Nindi added.

He urged that the carnival also be built around the people as well as make it a celebration and educational in order to sustain the patronage.

In England, he said the Luton Carnival happens in two days brings 93 million British Pounds into the economy of London, pointing out that the same could also happen in Ghana.

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Elisabeth Ofosu Agyare declared that the Ghana Carnival has come to stay.

“The Ghana Carnival has come to stay! The carnival has been instituted to diversify our tourism and cultural products by highlighting our cultural diversity as well as building linkages between the creative arts and other sectors of the economy,” she stated.

The minister added: “Our vision is to develop sustainable tourism pivoted on the Ghanaian culture and creative arts as key drivers for socio-economic development. Our carnival is positioned to put our culture and creative arts upfront, painting Ghana in its diversity of authentic cultures. This is the prime reason why each of the ten regions is participating.”

Ofosu Agyare pledged that all efforts necessary will be put in to make the Ghana carnival stand out among the best around the world.

“Our ultimate aim is that the Ghana carnival will stand out among all other carnivals held elsewhere so that in making a choice between the Ghana carnival and the others, the international tourist will be influenced by the fact that the Ghana carnival is like none other,” she stressed.

Maria Lovell, CEO and Founder of Ghana Society UK, and Ghana Center for Carnival Arts, the organization that developed the concept for the carnival and provides majority of the attractive costumes expressed satisfaction at the interest shown so far.

“The 2016 event is great and looks fantastic, seeing all the people here, beautiful costumes and good atmosphere,” she said.
Kwaku Dadzie, a participant noted: “It is very good and very nice.

You know all the culture we have, we have about 10 regions in Ghana here, and they are all together here today.”

He was so enthused about the amusement created by the carnival, hoping it will continue in subsequent years.

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