SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF DOMESTIC TOURISTS IN GHANA BY JOSHUA SEBU
INTRO • Ghana is blessed with several tourist sites • These include national parks, waterfalls, caves, hills, castles, botanical gardens, etc. • Most of these sites are natural • These natural tourist sites are still in their raw state yet to be developed to enhance its value as a tourist site.
INTRO • Tourism contributes to the development of an economy through the provision • foreign exchange • Employment • Income • Development of tourism communities and facilities, etc. In 2005, US$836.09 thousand dollars was received as foreign exchange increasing to US$1,875.0 million dollars in 2010. (Ohene-Ayeh, 2012) (Director of corporate affairs, GTA).
INTRO • The fact remains that international tourist arrivals to tourist sites in Ghana far surpasses that of domestic tourists. • According to GSS (2008), over 97% of Ghanaians hardly visit tourist sites. • This rather reduces benefits that could be obtained from their visits.
INTRO • According to Akyea (2009) among the excuses given by Ghanaians for not visiting tourist sites included • Lack of funds • No time to travel • Among these excuses my students also added that • There are no organisation of such tours • Gate fees are expensive, among others
INTRO • Fact sheet from GTA indicate rising trend in domestic tourism • By the end of 2010, total arrivals to tourist sites by Ghanaians was 659,325 with an accompanying total revenue of GH¢1,407,444.99. • According to Ohene-Ayeh(2012) this was a greater improvement in domestic tourism over the past five years.
Objective • The study therefore seeks to explore the socio-demographic characteristics of domestic tourists in Ghana. • Specifically the study will answers questions like • Where domestic tourists are going? • Where they are coming from? • What was the main purpose of their visit?
Methodology • The study uses data from the last round of the GLSS (GLSS 5) collected in 2005. • The sample includes only domestic tourist site visitors totaling 328 individuals out of 37,128. • The results are weighted to take care of the disproportionate sampling. • Exploring the data through descriptive analysis to answer the above questions
Results • Same day visitors were 214, overnight visitors were 127, whiles 13 were overlapping • 57.3% males, 42.7% females • Mean age was 28 years with a standard deviation of 14.9 • About 95.46% have had some level of education • Average real income of visitors was GHȼ639.42 whiles non visitors was GHȼ422.80 showing a 34% difference between the two. • A T-test showed a significant difference (p=0.000)
Conclusion • Income of domestic sites visitors are greater than non-visitors • Visits to these tourist sites were a secondary matter and not the main motive for travelling to areas endowed with these tourist sites. • Places mostly visited included Kakum National park, Kumasi zoo and cape coast castle. • Majority of domestic visitors were from the Ashanti region. • Visits were mostly self-arranged and also self sponsored.
Recommendations • Income levels of individuals when increased might encourage domestic tourism. • GTA and other tourism agents should develop these tourist sites especially the least visited to encourage increased domestic visits. • Intensified education and marketing should be carried out to encourage those who visit areas with tourist sites to visit these sites. • Future research on regional disparities could be done to find out the factors influencing more visits by some regions than others.