COVID-19: Ghana loses US$171 million in tourism revenue

The Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng Gyasi has revealed that Ghana lost an estimated tourism revenue of US$171 million in four months because of the global novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi

The four months are from March to June of this year.

She explained that the revenue loss follows the government’s closure of Ghana’s borders to prevent the importation of the virus.

At a media briefing to provide details of the easing of restrictions on the tourism sector, Barbara Oteng Gyasi said the total revenue from tourist arrivals, in 2019, was US$3.312 billion. In all, 1.13 million foreign tourists visited the country.

A survey conducted by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) showed that each tourist spent not less than US$2,931 on accommodation, car rental services, food, and attendance of entertainment events or concerts during the ‘Year of Return’.

She further stated that the government has allocated US$4million towards the development of tourism sites and information, this year, alongside US$5 million for tourism enterprise support.

Mrs Oteng Gyasi said, operators in the tourism and hospitality industry, could apply for support from the GHC600 million COVID-19 Alleviation Programme, meant for micro, small and medium scale enterprises, and being disbursed by the National Business for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).

She added that they could also access the GHC3billion, provided by selected commercial banks and the US$9 million support by the World Bank under the Ghana Tourism Project.

She said her outfit is determined to develop domestic tourism and entreated operators and owners of hotels and lodges to reduce their rates and charges to boost local patronage.

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