Tourism sector to grow by 5.1% in the next 10 years

August 17, 2017
Source: Bernard Yaw ASHIADEY/bftonline.com
Tourism sector to grow by 5.1% in the next 10 years

Ghana tourism industry is expected to expand and grow by 5.1percent over the next 10 years, according to The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Contained in the 7th edition of PwC ‘Hotels Outlook: 2017-2021’ report, Ghana’s hotel industry grew 1.2percent from 2015 to 2016, and expected to grow by grow 1.1percent, 2.1percent, and 2.3percent in 2017, 2018 and 2019.

With such a projected growth rate, the country, which already has a total of 2,723 hotels and lodges including a number of internationally-branded ones, is expected to see an increase in the number of business travellers to the country as the government embarks on a number of initiatives to stimulate economic growth.

Pietro Calicchio, Hospitality & Gaming Industry leader for PwC Southern Africa, noted that the hotel sector in Ghana has remained resilient despite recent global economic challenges.

“Following the collapse in the oil price and that of other commodities, the government has taken steps to diversify the economy, including promoting the hospitality and tourism sector.

The government is also making improvements in transport infrastructure, with the construction of a third terminal at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport and allocation of funds for the repair of roads to popular tourist destinations.

Having regard to the investment by foreign investors in the industry through the establishment of high-rated hotels, and an increasing number of tourists and business travellers, it is expected that there will be continuous growth in the industry,” Mr. Calicchio noted.

Ghana’s tourism industry has seen steady growth which culminated in more than a million arrivals in 2014, data from the Ghana Tourism Authority has shown.

With US$1.4billion revenue generated in 2010, the industry raked in a total of US$2.1billion in revenue whiles creating over 300,000 jobs. With the current projections of growth and government’s zeal in developing infrastructure in the sector; these figures are expected to see exponential growth.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the 2017 budget statement, noted that to fully explore the eco-tourism potential of the Nation’s Forest Reserves and increase the revenue base of forest resources, the government will continue to improve the ecotourism facilities in the following areas; Mole National Park, ShaiHills Resource Reserve, Kakum National Park, Ankasa Conservation Area and Achimota Forest Reserve.

“The Accra Eco-Park, Mole National Park, Shai-Hills Resource Reserve and Kakum National Park will be the focus in 2017,” he noted.

According to him, government’s focus in the medium term is to achieve sustainable growth and transformation of the sector through a variety of targeted interventions, and to develop and grow domestic tourism, arts and culture infrastructure throughout the country.  

Mr. Ofori-Atta added that government will undertake investment feasibility studies to promote small and medium scale enterprises through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) to create business opportunities and strengthen private sector participation in the development of the tourism sector. 

Government, this year, is expected to kick start the Marine Drive Tourism Investment Project covering over 240 acres of land from Osu Christianborg Castle to the Arts Centre.

“This project will transform the beach area into a tourism enclave to create jobs for our teeming youth. The Efua Sutherland Park will also be developed into an ultra-modern world class Park through a PPP arrangement,” he added.

African view

The report added that the emerging markets are set to post faster growth in revenue than their counterparts in developed countries, making them integral to the expansion strategies of some of the world’s leading hotel developers.

“The growth potential of Africa is high mainly because of the rapid economic growth in some economies, a growing middle class and an increase in visits from foreign visitors.

The emerging markets are a sought after destination for foreign investors – it is in these markets where there is continued economic growth and a need for additional infrastructure. In addition, governments and policy makers are introducing a range of tax incentives and other incentive schemes to foreign investors,” Mr. Calicchio added.

Although the potential for foreign investment has improved substantially in Africa over the past several years it is not without a number of challenges. Some of these challenges include a drop in oil prices and other commodities, social unrest, unstable electricity supply and the impact of one of the most severe droughts across the African continent.