The contribution of travel and tourism in percentages to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (% of GDP) is expected to stay within five percent by end of December this year, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, has indicated.
The percentage of tourism’s contribution to GDP was at a level of 5.5 percent in 2019, unaffected from the previous year due to notable events such as the ‘Year of Return 2019’ among others.
However, the advent of COVID-19 and its climax in 2020 significantly impacted the sector’s growth; whereby the industry lost an estimated GH¢8billion, according to the Tourism Ministry.
In 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP for Ghana was US$3.8billion. The contribution of travel and tourism to Ghana’s GDP increased from US$0.8billion in 2000 to US$3.8billion in 2019 growing at a fluctuating average annual rate of 5-8 percent.
But Dr. Awal, speaking to the B&FT, said the sector as of now has achieved about 70 percent of its target in terms of measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on tourism businesses.
“As it stands, Ghana is attracting more tourists in West Africa due to the country’s vaccination drive; and we intend to stay within the growth figure of five percent despite challenges posed by the pandemic,” he said.
The five percent growth will definitely put Ghana ahead of many countries in the West Africa sub-region apart from Senegal and Gambia, who are performing appreciably even within the pandemic.
Measures to augment and sustain the sector’s growth
In order to increase growth in the sector, the minister hinted that the Tourism Ministry and the Ghana Tourism Authority will on December 2-3, 2021, launch ‘Destination Ghana’ in the United States of America – specifically in Los Angeles and New York. “This agenda is to help attract more tourists and businesses of the diaspora from this fourth quarter, even into next year and beyond,” Dr. Awal said.
The ministry is equally placing priority on the development of tourism attractions across the country in order to grow the sector.
Dr. Awal announced near completion of the National Museum in Adabraka and said the facility which has been closed for renovation work over the last eight years will be reopened to the public in December. “From next year the Ministry and GTA will also start the nationwide renovation of all Centres for National Culture in the country, so as to present an attractive environment for exhibitions and cultural activities,” he added.