The Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Laporte has charged government to take advantage of the current global economic crisis to take strategic steps to help grow Ghana’s tourism sector and the general economy in the medium to long term.
Tourism is an important driver of economic growth in Ghana.
According to data from the Oxford Business Group, travel and tourism contributed 5.9% to Ghana’s GDP in 2019, with revenue of $3.7 billion. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, however, caused this figure to fall to 2.9% of Ghana’s GDP in 2020, and $1.9bn in revenue.
In terms of jobs, the tourism sector accounted for 514,800 jobs in 2020, or 4.2% of total employment. This figure was down by 30.7% from the 742,500 individuals employed in the sector in 2019, underscoring the severity of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic had on the sector.
However, the sector’s performance is expected to recover in the short to medium term as travel restrictions have been eased, while the drive for nationwide vaccination continues.
Speaking about the future of the sector and steps that need to be taken to enhance its fortunes, Country Director of the World Bank, Pierre Laporte, at the launch of the Tourism SME grants under the Ghana Tourism Development Project, noted that, players in the sector need to show demonstrable progress to keep support for the sector coming in.
“In this period of global economic crisis, it is the right time to take calculated and strategic steps to review and grow our economies. Indeed, it is time for developing partners to show good faith with struggling economies. The World Bank Group stands prepared to go the long haul with countries like Ghana, and I urge the players within the tourism value chain to reciprocate this gesture from the Bank towards the Tourism Development Project by ensuring demonstrable results at the end of the day. This will be the only motivating factor that will keep the project going.”