Massive improvements in infrastructure with good accessible roads, social amenities, state-of-the-art accommodation and other modern facilities have increased the convenience of living in Ghana for tourists, contributing to an increase in arrivals.
According to the Ghana Hospitality Industry Review Report for 2016, presented by Mr Bennet Otoo, Public Relations and Marketing Manager, Jumia Travel, the country generated GHC 3.7M (USD 880 000) in visitor exports in 2015 and that in 2016, there were 1,316,000 international tourist arrivals in Ghana.
It is expected, the Report indicates, that by 2026, there will be a total of 1,913,000, international tourist arrivals in Ghana generating expenditure of GHC 4.7M (USD 1.12M), an increase of 2.5% Per Annum.
The Report indicates that in the latest Global Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI), which measures the most competitive travel and tourism destination, Ghana is ranked 21st in Africa and 120th on the global stage, with Tourism contributing 2.6% of the total employment in 2015 and 7.8% to Gross Domestic Product ( GDP) in 2015.
The Report reveals that direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP in 2016 was GHC 4.9 M (USD 1.2 M) (3% of GDP) which figures are expected to rise by 5.6% to GHC 5.2 M (USD 1.2 M) in 2017 and by 5.1% Per Anum to GHC 8.6 M (USD 2 M) (2.9% of GDP) by 2027.
According to the Report, Travel & Tourism generated 288,000 jobs directly in 2016 (2.4% of increase from total employment of 2.6% in 2015) and is forecast to grow by 4.7% in 2017 to 301,500 (2.5% of total employment).
The Report underscores the importance of visitor exports as a key component of the direct contribution of Travel & Tourism and that n 2016, Ghana generated GHC 3.7 M (USD 900,000) in visitor exports which is expected to grow by 5.3% in 2017 with 1.3 M international tourist arrivals.
By 2027, international tourist arrivals are forecast to total 2M, generating expenditure of GHC 5.9 M (USD 1.4 M), an increase of 4.1% Per Annum.
The Report reveals that Domestic travel spending generated 56.7% of direct Travel & Tourism GDP in 2016, compared with 43.3% for visitor exports (i.e., foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts)—and is expected to grow by 5.4% in 2017 to GHC 5.1 M (USD 1.2 M), and rise by 5.3% pa to GHC 8.7 M (USD 2 M) in 2027.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, last week, Ms Omolara Adagunodo, Country Manager, Jumia Travel, Ghana, Online Travel Agents and Africa’s leading online hotel booking website, noted that the growth of the tourism industry was negatively impacted by the lack of professionalism and skills which, she said, required capacity building for industry practitioners.
She mentioned the absence of infrastructure such as good roads and communication facilities as another major challenge affecting the tourism industry.
In his remarks, Mr Kushal Dutta, Managing Director, Jumia Travel noted that even though tourism was a potential revenue earner, the operational cost of the Hotel industry was too high.
Mr Dutta said Jumia Travel was making life easy for travellers by assisting them travel at the cheapest rates with attractive holiday packages— all through the use of the internet.
On his part, Mr Yaw Mamphey, Sales and Marketing Manager, Accra City Hotel, noted that the Hotel industry was growing and described it as a god development that was promoting competition among industry players.
Mr Mamphey said good communication systems were essential in promoting growth and that the Accra City Hotel had introduced a mobile communication device to facilitate unlimited and uninterrupted calls by Hotel guests.
On her part, Ms Vera Hinson of Rwandan Airlines, commended Jumia Travel for their efforts at facilitating travels for tourists. Ms Hinson urged Jumia Travel to develop travel and tour packages for Rwanda and to direct their focus to promoting the aviation industry as well.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)