The Internet is a global network that links all computer devices together, allows transmission of information and facilitate communication. This is the textbook definition. However, we have come to realise that the internet is what makes the world tick. It is the fuel that drives our world today. Tourism on the other hand involves putting together the activities, entertainment, services, destinations, historical sites, culture, festivals with exquisite hospitality to give an amazing travel experience to that tourist leaving home to explore and gain experience.

 destinationsTo get the best out of this wave of excellence and benefit greatly from it’s impacts, let’s first look at how we can marry these two. This is possible in so many ways. Firstly, tourism can leverage the internet in growing a wide global network or audience. The world has become a global village and as the age old cliche suggests, one click of a button can show you what’s happening a million miles away in a place you have never thought of visiting. Instantly, you may start making plans to visit or even keep it on your bucket list for the future.

In Ghana, as has been already echoed already so many times, tourism has great potential and one of the surest ways to promote it is by using the internet. A quality website, social media pages and frequent interactions with international stakeholders or recognized tourists is just the first step. There has to be a go-to website, a go-to facebook,twitter and instagram page or even a dedicated youtube channel to showcase our amazing history, monuments and sites. High quality images and videos that tell stories of our rich Ghanaian culture and heritage. With the help of the internet, these will reach every Tom, Dick and Harry in seconds. Call it tourism marketing and you may be very right. In these times when tourism has become very competitive on the African continent with several countries setting the pace, we have no option than to show the rest of the world what beauty there is in Ghana. Our culture is rich and our tradition will blow you away but all of this brings us nothing as a country if we cannot market it well enough. The internet presents us with the best medium to do so.

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Recent findings according to internet world stats show that 27.8% of Ghana’s population uses the internet. Of this number, the greater majority use it for social media activities making it easy to communicate with family and friends, share beautiful and memorable moments with their loved ones and also use it as a source of information and learning. The internet is a very important tool used to market anything online and the fact that it will reach a lot of people in the shortest possible time makes it more unique. Mention places like The Mole national park, The Kakum national park, Afadjato Mountain and many others; a lot of people outside Ghana don’t really know about these places but with the internet we are able to capture these places, talk about certain activities, write beautiful pieces of information about these places and get it to reach the outside world. Ghana is a very beautiful country with a lot of tourist destination which has brought a lot of foreigners into the country, how did they get to know about these places? Yes a place like Elmina castle which has a dark history of enslavement has been read over and over again in journals that talked about slave trade in Africa but what about our locals and natural tourist sites like our waterfalls, mountains, beaches and etc? INTERNET!! Yes the Internet made it possible for them to become visible. That’s VISIBILITY.

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accrabeachBy now, you may be wondering why the hype and noise about the internet. It’s not just the hype but the magic and impact. Tourists have found a better way of safety and access to accurate information. They can now check reviews about major cities and hotels online, get quick information about safe destinations and even alerts about risky and dangerous zones. Tourist are now sure of their safety, where they will stay and the accurate information about where exactly they are visiting. No tourist will want to travel blind. They are able to get their hotel rooms booked online, access accurate information about the the destinations and even get to see the rooms before they visit. With the help of online travel websites, they can even compare prices and get the best rates available. Everyone wants to save a little here and there.

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Finally, there is the small matter of comfort and convenience for our guests. When you are in a far away land, you only feel at ease if you still are connected to the outside world. If you can communicate with others and know what is happening at every particular time. In order to reach high levels, our tourism needs to incorporate steady and quick internet services to all hotels, restaurants, tourist sites and even buses to ensure that foreigners who travel here do not feel bored or disconnected from the rest of the world. These tourists who are on vacation will actually feel much more confident if they are assured of regular internet access anytime they need it in order to check on businesses and attend to emergencies.

The internet is here to stay. Therefore, the more we embrace it and incorporate it into our daily lives, the better it will be for all. For tourism, the opportunities are endless and the one amazing solution to maximizing the great potential stares us right in our faces. Let’s grab it. It is the INTERNET!!!

Credit : Bennet Otoo, Jumia Travel