Festivals in Ghana are important occasions whereby people celebrate their culture, tradition, and customs. The people of Ghana normally celebrate festivals according to ethnic and tribal lines. On average, there are over 70 festivals celebrated by various ethnic groups in the country. Each ethnic group in Ghana has a unique culture from time to time. Most of the festivals are held during a specific time of the year, while others are held on a monthly basis.
Festivals are significant events, and their importance in tourism can never be underrated. Most festivals commemorate significant events that took place during a certain period. In partnership with the tourism industry, the Ghanaian government is working smartly to promote local festivals to ensure that they meet all their goals.
Ghana stands to enjoy enormous benefits if its cultural heritage can be marketed effectively through tourism. The fact is, festivals have an influence on our heritage. Indeed, they promote tolerance and multiculturalism. All these elements are the positive impact of festival tourism. The leading benefits of tourism include;
1. Promoting Tourism
Festivals are exciting events that attract the attention of many people. Most of these events are accompanied by dancing and singing, and therefore many people enjoy attending them. Festivals have been playing a key role in promoting tourism. Both local and international tourists travel to attend these events. Statistics indicate that most tourists attend festivals and explore other tourist attractions across the country.
Under Dr. Mohammed Awal, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture is putting a lot of effort into developing this sector. He believes the tourism sector can generate more money and become the second-largest contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product.
2. Raising revenue
Festivals serve as a means of collecting revenue. During the festival celebrations, natives living outside Africa or elsewhere in the World return home, giving the community a chance to raise funds. Besides, National leaders are invited and support ethnic groups raising money.
This revenue collected from these events helps build the national economy and fund other key projects. Development works on the revenue collected by the government.
3. Uniting people
Most of the activities during festivals attract large numbers of people. People come together to celebrate and have fun while commemorating some key activities. Sometimes, people disagree, and therefore when festivals bring them together, they solve their issues and unite again. Communal activities conducted during most festival celebrations, such as spiritual purification and pouring libations, encourage people to stay at peace with each other.
4. Teaching Customs
The celebration of festivals offers a great chance for community leaders, such as kings and chiefs, and older people to educate their people about societal beliefs and customs. They narrate all historical events and everything that has happened in the past with the aim of teaching the young generations. They also explain why certain values exist and why they should be observed.
The customs and traditions are key building blocks of culture and are passed on from one generation to the other. Each ethnic group has unique customs, which they adhere to based on their culture.
4. Festivals advocate for inter-ethnic relations
Festivals have played a key role in uniting many ethnic groups. Most of these events advocate for inter-ethnic relationships and help solve the existing issues between various ethnic groups. Statistics indicate that these events have united many ethnic groups in Ghana.
People from various tribes and ethnic groups travel to attend festivals and learn more about the culture of whoever is holding the event. Besides, community leaders also invite each other to festivals to help build their relationships.