Tourism generated US$3bn last year



The tourism sector generated approximately US$3billion during the 2023 operational year from inbound tourist arrivals, against a projected US$3.4billion, according to the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).

At the launch of the 2022 Tourism Report last year, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture (MoTAC) and the GTA set a target of attracting 1.2 million international tourists to the country, aiming for a projected revenue of US$3.4billion.

However, the Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwasi Agyeman, speaking at a Graphic Business/Stanbic Bank Ghana Tourism Breakfast Meeting in Accra, said the sector raked in some US$3billion in revenue last year, from 1.1 million international visitors.

The event was on the theme ‘Tourism – the golden egg; a shared responsibility’.

He indicated that on average, each visitor spent US$2,980 during their stay in the country.

“These are monies that came to the local tourism economy and not funds paid into government coffers. A chunk of it went to the hotels, tourist sites, car rentals, restaurants, entertainment and handicrafts,” he said.

Globally, Mr. Agyeman highlighted that the tourism sector, valued at over US$1.4trillion, requires careful planning and investments to enhance its viability, adding: “The sector remains a low hanging fruit which plays into all value chains possible”.

He stated that the country is leveraging its numerous advantages to create the necessary impact for the sector.

“With over 37 international airlines operating through the Kotoka International Airport, niche tourism potentials – including forts and castles and festivals, Ghana has always been an attractive destination,” Mr Agyeman indicated.

He said one of the key challenges in the sector is an operational budget to advertise the country as a destination of choice, which he explained has become expensive.

For instance, Rwanda currently advertises on jerseys of football teams in the English top football league, which is in excess of US$30million.

Nonetheless, Mr. Agyeman mentioned that the Rwanda approach is very expensive for the country to afford, given the budgetary constraints faced by the tourism sector. “That is why the GTA utilises platforms provided by international fairs and conferences to reach more international audience and targets,” Mr. Agyeman explained.

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