GHANA – The Government of Ghana has announced plans to roll out a Stimulus package of GH¢ 600 million cedis (US$103.90 million) to the tourism sector as part of measures to cushion operators in the hospitality industry from adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko- Mensah revealed the government plans during the Western and Western-North Regional Tourism Awards in Takoradi.
In his speech during the awards, Mr Darko-Mensah lauded the hardworking staff in the hospitality industry for the successful Year of Return programme.
The Regional Minister said 200,000 more visitors from the diaspora were expected to visit tourist sites in the country as the COVID-19 scourge continues to go down.
He further noted that the Spanish government has set up a development platform for the Region, in order to boost tourism.
He also revealed that Western Regional Coordinating Council the Takoradi would be holding a carnival performance and invited the rest of Ghana and the world to witness the street carnival on December 25 and 26, this year.
The Director-General in charge of Operations of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Mr Ekow Sampson said tourism was another vibrant sector and asked industrial players to strive hard to make the sector attractive.
HE revealed that the GTA and other stakeholders have set up the Tourism Site Regulation 2020 to regulate tourist sites in the country.
Mr Sampson also revealed that GTA would set up a Hospitality Training Institute in the country which would be funded by the World Bank as part of initiatives to address quality tourism delivery in Ghana.
Tourism is a key sector of Ghana’s economy and it it’s the 4th largest foreign exchange for the country.
Last year, Ghana raked in $1.9 billion (€1.75 billion) from tourism, which contributed over 5.5% of GDP.
The sector employs thousands of people who have now been rendered jobless as the pandemic continues to keep tourists away from the country.
Prof. Ishmael Mensah, an Associate Professor at the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management of the University of Cape Coast predicts that Ghana’s tourism sector will take between two to three years to fully recover from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This he explained was due to the fact that the domestic tourism industry had not been developed in the country and the sector relied on tourists from Europe and other western country for its survival.
He commended government for showing leadership with the GH¢600 million stimulus packages for businesses and urged those in the industry to apply for funds to address their challenges.
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