Ghana has numerous tourist sites but it appears hotel rates at such attractions are quite high.
It is as a result of this that a stakeholder in Ghana’s hospitality industry, Marketing Manager of Jumia Travels, Bennet Otoo, has called on government to consider wooing investors into the country to construct affordable hotel rooms in such areas to boost tourism in Ghana.
Mr Otoo said government’s intention to provide affordable commercial rooms near major tourist sites would greatly attract tourists in the country and neighbouring countries.
“There should be accommodation attached to tourist sites that we have. Let’s say if you go the Kakum National Park, or if you go to the Cape Coast Castle, there should be accommodation facilities attached to them or guest houses owned by the Ministry or government very close to the tourist sites,” he said.
According to a World Travel and Tourism Council report, the direct contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was GH¢4,457.9 million (3.3 percent of total GDP) in 2015, and was forecast to rise by 2.7 percent in 2016, and to increase by 5.0 percent per annum, from 2016 to 2026, to GH¢7,449.5 million (2.9 percent of total GDP) in 2026.
It also mentioned that the total contribution of travel & tourism to GDP was GH¢10,506.8 million (7.8 percent of GDP) in 2015, and was forecast to rise by 2.4 percent in 2016, and to rise by 5.3 percent per annum to GH¢17,997.4 million (7.0 percent of GDP) in 2026.
In 2015, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism to employment, including jobs indirectly
supported by the industry, was 6.5 percent of total employment (716,500 jobs).
This was expected to rise by 1.8 percent in 2016 to 730,000 jobs and rise by 1.6 percent per annum to 855,000 jobs in 2026 (6.0 percent of total).
The report stated that visitor exports generated GH¢3,699.5 million (8.1 percent of total exports) in 2015. This was forecast to fall by 0.0 percent in 2016, and grow by 2.5 percent per annum from 2016 to 2026 to GH¢4,736.0 million in 2026 (7 percent of total).
Ghana’s travel & tourism investment in 2015 was GH¢1,008.4 million, or 2.9 percent of total investment.
“It should fall by 1.1 percent in 2016, and rise by 3.7 percent per annum over the next 10 years to GH¢1,427.8 million in 2026 (2.2 percent of total).
It would be recalled that Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Catherine Afeku told the Appointments Committee of Parliament that government would work to reduce the rates hotels in the country to attract tourists into the country.
Mr. Otoo further said providing affordable accommodation near tourist sites would expand the industry and generate more income domestically and in the sub-region.
“This will also help generate revenue for the country, because if I have to travel to sites from the US to Ghana and I know that onsite at Kakum National Park there is accommodation for me, and I can stay there, which is good. I don’t have to pay for transport moving to find another hotel.”