Akwasi Agyeman, GTA Boss
The Ghana Tourism Authority has reiterated its commitment to boosting local tourism in the country.
In an interview with Citi Business News, acting Public Affairs Director of GTA, Nelson Jones, stated that his outfit is confident that when more attention is given to the local tourism sector, stakeholders in the industry will stand a better chance of thriving.
“The kind of situation we find ourselves indicates that we need to intensify our domestic tourism to get the yield because the times are rough. If you travel to Asia, you will realise that their domestic tourism is the base of tourism. It fetches them a lot of money. They don’t think about international tourism, they rather focus on domestic tourism. So we are trying to intensify efforts, and we are also saying that we have to go virtual in addition, so we can boost domestic tourism,” he said.
The authority had earlier indicated that 2020 recorded about a 70 per cent decrease in international tourist travels into the country.
This was largely due to the closure of the country’s borders as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Stakeholders in the sector including the Ghana Hotels Association had earlier indicated that in order for the tourism and hospitality industry to stay afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of attention had to be given to local tourism in the country.
The sector has been one of the worst-hit since the outbreak of COVID-19, losing millions of dollars.
President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike, believes the government has a major role to play in boosting local tourism in order to sustain their businesses.
“Where we still have the COVID-19 issue, certainly international visits to Ghana will reduce drastically as we are witnessing now. So then the next option is to look within. And over the years we’ve placed some premium on international travels and visits to the detriment of domestic tourism. This is the time to revive domestic tourism,” Dr. Ackah-Nyamike indicated.