Despite numerous newspaper reports that Ghana has started issuing visa-on-arrivals from July 1, immigration officials in Ghana as well as the Ghana High Commission in Pretoria have told Inside Travel that they have not received any official documentation supporting the decision for the visa-on-arrival.
During the State of the Nation Address earlier this year, President John Dramani Mahama announced that Ghana would be implementing visa-on-arrival for all citizens of AU member states.
The president said: “With effect from July this year, we will be allowing citizens of AU member states to enter into our country and obtain visas on arrival with the option to stay for up to thirty days and experience what our country has to offer. This measure, with time should stimulate air travel, trade, investment and tourism.”
At the beginning of July, the president also officially announced the commencement of the new policy during a state function in Accra to commemorate the 56th Republic Day of Ghana. Business Ghana quoted the President as saying that Ghana was proud to take a lead in the implementation of the all-important policy.
However, the President’s message has not reached immigration officials in Ghana as yet. One official at Kotoka International Airport told Inside Travel: “We haven’t implemented the new measures yet. Travellers are still advised to apply for a visa prior to travelling to Ghana. People who arrive without visa do so at their own risk.”
Ben Langner, MD Carlson Wagonlit Travel in South Africa, explains that Ghana is currently a destination of interest to business rather than leisure travellers. However, he points out that it is a country with an interesting history and tourism areas that have the potential to attract more visitors.
According to Langner, with easier access to the country, appropriate marketing activities by tourism promotion authorities and sales development by tour operators and other trade partners, it could be well positioned to grow interest among leisure travellers in due course.