Ghana’s tourism and hospitality industry is expected to record a hundred and seventy-one million dollar ($171 million) loss in revenue due to the adverse impact of coronavirus within four months.
That’s according to the the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi.
Speaking at the Information Ministry’s press briefing in Accra on Thursday June 4, 2020, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi stated that, “From an assessment that was done between March and June, it was indicated that the operators both formal and informal, were going to register losses of about 171 million dollars over the period, but importantly government recognizes the importance of the sector to the economy; the contribution to the economy in terms of revenue generation as well as job creation, and it is not in the interest of government that we register job losses in the sector,” she said.
Ghana’s tourism is one of the hardest hits by the COVID-19 outbreak. The 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.
However, the sector is experiencing a rapid and sharp drop in demand and a surge in job losses.
Analysts have predicted that revenue from the sector will continue to dip a little longer due to the closure of Ghana’s borders.
The sector Minister says President Akufo-Addo has constituted an inter-ministerial Committee to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and come up with a stimulus package for the struggling businesses within the industry.
“Recognizing the importance of the tourism and hospitality sector to the economy, His Excellency the president has constituted an inter-ministerial committee to look specifically at the sector and come up with a proposed stimulus package to support the industry to alleviate the hardship during this very difficult period and make sure that it recovers post covid-19,” she said.
“That exercise is also going on with what we have done in the initial report. We are engaging more with the ICUs of the various hotels because government is interested in ensuring that we do not lose jobs in the sector. They are also coming up with proposals and we will make sure that we submit to government to put in place a stimulus package specifically for the tourism and hospitality industry,” she added.
Tourism and Hospitality sector to benefit from $9m facility – Tourism Minister
The Minister however announced that, as part of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic on the tourism and hospitality sector, government has secured a nine-million-dollar facility from the World Bank under the Tourism Development Project, to strengthen the industry.
Year of Return pumped $3.3bn into Ghana’s economy – Tourism Minister
The Minister recently revealed that the Year of Return initiative raked in tourism receipts amounting to $3.3 billion. According to her, the average expenditure per tourist was $2,391.
She said the amount was spent on accommodation, food and beverages, shopping, local transport, and entertainment. In responding to questions in Parliament on Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Minister noted that the government intends to build upon the success of the Year of Return initiative.