The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), says thousands of its members have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Federation, its members, comprising formal and informal sector workers are unable to operate due to the ban on public gathering.
They include car rentals, hotels, drinking spots and recreational facilities.
The federation, which is made up of different associations such as car rentals, Hotels, drinking bars and recreational centers, says its members are unable to finance loans acquired to expand their operations prior to the country recording COVID-19 cases.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Executive Secretary of the Ghana Tourism Federation, (GHATOF), Emmanuel Frimpong, said the hotels which have many workers are the biggest casualties.
“About four thousand plus hotels in the country cannot pay their workers who are home. You are aware of Kempinski and all the other 5-star hotels that have virtually shut down and then look at the majority of our numbers in the informal sector,” he said.
Mr. Frimpong disclosed that a survey that was conducted by the Association shows that its members are the hardest hit in the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We did a survey of the informal sector and in the informal sector alone we are talking about 352,000 people at home when you look at the informal sector. So if we are to do an estimation, we are looking at between 700,000 to 800,000 people of our members who are affected,” he stressed.
In Ghana, the tourism sector is projected to create about a million jobs while contributing about 6.2 percent to Ghana’s GDP.
Most of the income realized from the sector mainly comes from foreigners who visit the country.
But with the outbreak of the pandemic, global travel is forecast to see a huge decline, a situation that will affect the sector’s income.
Giving some recommendations, Mr. Frimpong appealed to all relevant institutions in the tourism industry such as the Ghana Tourism Authority and the sector ministry to increase awareness of domestic tourism in Ghana.