The World Economic Forum Report 2021 on Tourism and Travel Development Index has ranked Ghana as the number one Tourism Destination in West Africa.
The Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, who disclosed this during a media briefing in Accra on Wednesday, stated that by 2025, the Tourism, Arts and Culture sector would be the highest contributor to GDP as the country expects one million visitors this year.
He said the tourism, arts and culture sector is the third largest contributor to GDP after cocoa and gold in the country.
“Each visitor spends an average of $2,400; before the covid, they spent between $2,600 and $2,800 per visit over one to ten days. We anticipate 1.5 million visitors from 2024 to 2025, with exponential growth afterwards, the government should generate between $3.5 to $4 million by 2025,” he added.
The Minister also disclosed that the government, with the support of the World Bank, is spending over GH ₵ 350 million to modernize tourist attractions across the country.
“This is in line with the government’s commitment to making the tourism sector act as a veritable tool for economic transformation, thereby contributing to job creation and wealth for the people. According to the world bank, two out of every ten jobs is created by the tourism sector,” he emphasized.
Some of the sites that would benefit from the initiative are the Pikworo Heritage and Slave Camp (1st Phase Done – Receptive Facility), the Bonwire Kente Museum and the rehabilitation of the Yaa Asantewaa Museum at Ejisu, which will be completed in the first quarter of 2023 and five multipurpose Domes or Amphitheaters to be constructed for performances within the creative arts space.
According to the Minister, Ghana has a comparative advantage in tourism and hospitality in West Africa because about 65% of all slave trade edifices are located in the country.
“Ghana also hosts the secretariat of The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). This will enable the country to enhance its position as a venue for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Events (MICE).
“Another advantage Ghana has over its neighbours is that the country is at the centre of the world, politically stable and seen as an attractive investment destination. The government is, therefore, taking advantage of these to invest in the tourism sector to enable the sector to be a catalyst for economic growth,” he added.
On initiatives implemented by the Ministry to improve competitive tourism, the Minister stated that over 3000 players in the tourism sector have been trained, with a target of training 20,000 by 2024.
The Minister also disclosed that over 50 events are expected to take place in the country. Among the events are Afrochella, Afro Nation, Akwaaba UK, Rhythms on da Runway, Kids in Tourism, BHIM Concert, Joyful Way and a Taste of Ghana.
Patience Anaadem, ISD