WeTravels, A Female-led Startup’s Agenda For Ghana’s Tourism Sector

The overview of tourism

Ghana is one of the best African countries to consider when you are planning a vacation or a trip. The country is known for its lush forests, sandy beaches, mountains and waterfalls, national parks, numerous festivals, castles, just to mention a few.

These beautiful elements come together to give tourists a unique tourism experience when they visit. Notably, the tourism sector contributes to 6% of Ghana’s GDP.

In 2019, Ghana hosted the year of return, an event to commemorate the 400th-anniversary arrival of the first recorded enslaved Africans in the State of Virginia in the United States. Reportedly, about 1.5 million tourists, including celebrities and dignitaries visited Ghana during the time. It is also purported that Ghana accrued a $1.9 billion revenue from the festival. That is a significant feat for the tourism sector.

However, in 2020, the tourism sector was grasping at straws when global restrictions were declared due to the pandemic. As a result, it was estimated that there could be a major decline in figures. Globally, the tourism sector could lose at least $1.2 trillion, or 1.5% of the GDP, having been placed at a standstill for nearly four months, UNCTAD said in a report published on 1 July.

For Ghana’s tourism sector, research by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) (2020), showed that revenue was expected to fall by 40% when compared to 2019. Total direct revenue declared by the formal sector in 2019 was $325m. This figure was expected to fall by $130m and together with an additional $41 million from the informal sector, total estimated revenue losses in 2020 were expected to be in the region of $171m.

Members of the Tour Operators Association reported that 11,558 expected tourists had canceled bookings, leading to a revenue loss of GHC 4,847,402.41 (GTA, 2020).

What WeTravels is proposing

This year and beyond, WeTravels aims to contribute its quota to get Ghana’s tourism into its former glory. The five-member startup is tapping into the existing market to give tourists a glimpse of what Ghana has to offer.

WeTravels is a managed marketplace that lets tourists make standardized, upgraded, and branded bookings for tours, events, and activities, through their portal at affordable rates.

The startup is focused on providing local and diverse tour experiences and content to both foreigners and locals. To gradually establish dominance within the tourism space, the startup has established a Community Development Scheme. To elaborate, WeTravels will contribute an accumulated 5% of each payment customers make to the communities they visit.

“ We are not only into tourism, but we are also in for impact sake. We believe the development scheme will support communities and local tour guides in building structures that will favor the community and the tourism sector at large”, commented co-founder Alice Kwakye.

“Furthermore, we have partnered with key players in the industry to support our cause. We have companies like Bra Afrika, Treysam Multimedia, and Createx Pro”.

For its future objectives, the startup aims to secure a partnership with Ghana Tourism Authority and ultimately, Ghana’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.

WeTravels is a product of GTL’s digital media training. The startup is currently in its incubation process, preparing to pitch on demo day during the Ghana Startup Summit.

Digital Times Africa is a multimedia news organization for technology in Africa and beyond.