The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) has announced a US$9 million World Bank facility to cushion the country’s tourism development under the Ghana Tourism Project by government.
Tourism Minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, at a media briefing to provide details of the sector in this COVID-19 era and government initiatives towards alleviating losses in the tourism sector, said, US$4 million of the facility will be used for the development of tourism sites and information and US$5 million for tourism enterprise support.
The Minister said, operators in the tourism and hospitality industry, could apply for support from the GHc600 million government’s stimulus package for micro, small and medium scale enterprises, which is being disbursed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
Meanwhile, the Ministry also affirmed that players in the tourism industry could also apply and access the GHc3 billion provided by selected commercial banks in the country.
As government is determined to provide support to develop Ghana’s domestic tourism, it is expected that operators and owners of hotels and other accommodation units to reduce their rates and charges to boost local patronage.
Indeed Ghana, according to the Ministry of Tourism has lost an estimated tourism revenue of US$171 million from late March to May because of the global coronavirus pandemic and little to no domestic patronage.
The revenue loss followed the closure of the country’s borders and a directive for social distancing with little outdoor activities.
Total revenue from tourist arrivals in year 2019 according to the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), was valued at US$3.312 billion. In all, 1.13 million foreign tourists visited the country.
A survey conducted by the 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’.