Vaccination to grow tourist arrivals by 47% this year – Fitch

Tourism growth to stay within 5% by end of year

Credit rating agency Fitch Solutions has projected that Ghana’s tourist arrivals will have a 47 percentage points growth this year, due to ongoing vaccination of the citizenry and the easing of restrictions for inbound tourists.

The rating agency noted that the growth follows a 65.4 percentage points contraction recorded in the sector last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fitch Solutions, in a review paper focused on some areas of the Ghanaian economy – consumer spending, tourism and inflation – noted it expects tourist arrivals in Ghana to remain positive going into 2022 and expanding by 28.4 percentage points year-on-year (y-o-y).

“Ghana’s tourism sector has been negatively impacted by the pandemic and related travel restrictions. In 2021, we forecast tourist arrivals to grow by 47 percent y-o-y,” Fitch said.

The rating agency further noted that the growth is from a low base following an estimated 65.4 percent y-o-y contraction in tourist arrivals last year. However, it remains optimistic that the rollout of vaccines and easing of restrictions for inbound tourists is key for recovery of the country’s tourism sector.

“We project the growth in tourist arrivals to remain positive in 2022, expanding by 28.4 percent year-on-year. The positive growth in tourist arrivals in 2021 and 2022 bodes well for hospitality businesses such as restaurants and hotels, and recreation and culture establishments. This will improve the wage and employment prospects of people employed in this sector,” the report stated.

Ghana’s tourism sector lost about 80 percent of jobs in the pandemic, with the Tourism Ministry estimating that more than GH¢8billion in revenue has been lost to the pandemic-related challenges.

Interventions to revive the sector from COVID-19

Government has introduced a number of interventions to cushion the sector and position it to survive adverse effects of the pandemic.

It has injected more than GH¢100million into the sector for skills training and grants to assist sector players.

On June 1, 2021, Ghana launched the Domestic and Regional Tourism Campaign designed to stimulate the local tourism industry.

The 18-month long campaign being championed by the Tourism Ministry and Ghana Tourism Authority targets increasing domestic tourist arrivals to 600,000 by 2022, and to one million by 2024.

With this, Ghana hopes to also increase international tourist arrivals from the West African sub-region alone from the current 180,000 to 400,000 by 2024.

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