The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Akwasi Agyeman, has attributed the recent decrease in number of tourism visits to the Covid-19 pandemic that hit the world economic activities.
Speaking at Ghana Diaspora Investment Summit, organize by Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), he said, the dip in numbers of tourism and hotel businesses has drastically reduced the income levels of the sector. The dip has resulted in about 1.36 million arrivals in 2020 out of the 1.5 million arrivals annually.
“I believe that once we position ourselves well and we really touch the right button to welcome the global to Ghana and offer investment opportunities to those who want to invest we should be able to achieve our 1.5 million arrivals in 2024,” he said.
Mr. Agyemang explained that the occupancy rates of hotels over the past year have been hard hit. In 2019, the occupancy rates for 5-star hotels were 66.3 percent compared to 31 percent in 2020.
Also, occupancy rates for 4-star hotels were 59.2 percent in 2019 compared to 38 percent in 2020. The tourism sector experienced a 31 percent drop in arrivals in 2020.
The Ghana Tourism Authority, he said, is looking at regional tourism as a key driver to be able to achieve the 1.5 million of which Nigeria is a big market for this purpose.
He said, with product development the Authority is planning of engaging with private investors to be able to improve the tourism sector, hinting that there is already little push into tourism investment by Safari Ghana.
He further explained that Ghana Tourism Authority is working towards building strong partnerships center-wide for both the public and private sector development like GIPC to improve the movement of the tourism sector to gain attractiveness.
Mr. Agyemang mentioned that Ghana Tourism Authority is working with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs to improve the tax incentives of the tourism sector to help induce new Arrivals in the country.
He, therefore, assured that there exist opportunities for the operation of tourist charter flights into Ghana major generating countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia to serve the growing interest in Ghana as a leisure destination.
Pipeline Projects of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA)
Ghana- Centre of the World Project
Ghana has been identified as the only country found to be at the center of the world. This, he said, makes Tema the nearest habitable land north to the center of the world.
The Ghana center of the world project seeks to position and market Ghana as a desired and most preferred tourist destination in Africa. Its critical attributes have uniquely identified Ghana as the nearest habitable land to the interjectional point of the longitude and latitude 00 in the Atlantic Ocean.
Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project
Mr. Agyemang indicated that land has been procured for the construction of the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project which is going to be the first single largest tourism investment project to be initiated by the Government of Ghana since independence.
He disclosed that the 241-acre land beachfront tourism enclave to be executed through public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements will envisage to position Ghana as the most sought-after tourist destination and the destination of choice within the West African subregion as well as provide job opportunities for many young people in the country.
Source: Abdul-Razak Mohammed(Real Estate Times Africa)