As part of measures to mitigate the economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the tourism and hospitality sector, government has announced a nine-million-dollar facility to boost the industry.
The facility comes from the World Bank under the Tourism Development Project.
It will be disbursed in two parts – four million dollars to support tourism sites and destinations development, and five million dollars for tourism enterprise support for SMEs within the tourism value chain.
The industry is also set to benefit from a GHS 3 billion facility set aside by government to support specific industries in the country.
Speaking at the Information Ministry’s press briefing in Accra on Thursday June 4, 2020, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said government will soon come out with all the modalities for accessing the facility.
“The Ministry is also implementing the Tourism Development Project. It is a World Bank funded project and under that project there is a nine million dollar grant to support improvement in tourist sites as well as grants to SMEs within the tourism value chain. 4 million dollars is going to improvements of tourism sites and 5 million dollars is going to the SMEs that operate along the value chain of tourism,” she said.
“…Then there is the three billion facility which the Ministry of Finance is also putting in place through selected banks so that our larger operatives, that is our four-star, five star operators can also access to support their operations,” she added.
The Ghana Hotels Association had earlier called on government to support its members to pay their staff due to low patronage of their facilities.
Also, the Industry is benefiting from the 600 million cedis stimulus package set aside by government to support Small and Medium Enterprises.
The stimulus package is part of the creation of a Coronavirus Alleviation Program to revive the country’s affected industries and address the distraction in economic activities caused by the pandemic.
It will be assessed through the National Board for Small Scale Industries, NBSSI.
The Hospitality and tourism sector is one of the most affected sectors especially due to Ghana’s existing temporary ban on public gatherings and travel restrictions, which has slowed down patronage.
In Accra for instance, some hotels laid-off casual workers in order to stay in business.