I took my questions to Twitter and the rest is history. The highlights included the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Hanna Tetteh, getting heavily involved in the debate!
Lisa from Canada shared her story on the Scrap Tourism Visas for Ghana FB page:
“My parents had big problems. Again needed 2 letters of invitation. The consulate in Toronto (CAN) wanted addresses with complete street address and house #, not simply PO box. As we were simultaneously trying to get visas for my parents + my boyfriend from 2 consulates, it was bad. Toronto rejected the letters & demanded new ones while the consulate in Ottawa accepted them. Why the difference? & how many people in Accra have a full street address? Its not the same as in Canada.
Throughout my extensive travels a common theme. Foreigners mainly come to visit family members/friends working in Gh, infrequently as visitors. Partly because the visas. The expense plus needing the letter of invitation. I understand the government can’t “lose” people within their borders but there must be a better system. The visas r too expensive. We spend a lot of $ in the country anyways.”
Here is also an article by a campaigner to “scrap” tourism visas for Ghana, although I personally think “scrapping Visas” is going too far, I found the examples highlighting other African experiences interesting.
The scrap short term tourist to Ghana campaign advocates only for short term tourist visas that is 30 days or less, not for people travelling on business nor conferences nor for periods longer than 30 days. Travel stats today state that 40% of tourists leave for destinations within a week of making their plans-such is the nature of life today-and that means Ghana would NOT be an option.