On July 26, President Akufo Addo delivered his 14th address to the nation on the Coronavirus front.
During his address, President Akuffo Addo thanked Ghanaians for their prayers and good wishes when he was advised to go into quarantine for two (2) weeks by doctors. He went on further to announce the ease in restrictions for the tourism industry in Ghana.
“In consultation with the Ghana Tourism Authority and the health experts, I am announcing the reopening of our nation’s tourist sites and attractions, so they can begin to receive visitors. Open air drinking spots can now function. The management of these facilities are tasked to enforce enhanced hygiene and social distancing protocols.”
This is welcoming news for all stakeholders in the tourism industry as the tourism industry in Ghana continues to be submerged under the weight of the Coronavirus.
Preliminary statistics by the Tourism Industry in Ghana revealed that the industry will witness a fall in revenue of US$170 million in the formal and informal space in the next five months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In the Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta indicated that the evidence presented by the Tour Operators Association revealed 11,558 tourists cancelled their visits to Ghana, leading to a projected year-to-date revenue loss of GH¢4.8 million. This is a staggering figure given the time frame involved.
The announcement by Akuffo Addo therefore offers a breathing space for the industry and all stakeholders that have experienced one form of job loss or the other.
Borders remain closed
However, that being said, the breathing space given to the tourism industry will be as it is, a breathing space. This is because, borders “by air, land and sea, remain closed until further notice for human traffic.”
The tourism industry depends heavenly on foreigners trooping into the country and with our borders still closed to human traffic, significant improvement to the sector with regards to revenue generation, and employment will still not materialize.
Moreover, beaches and nightclubs which are recreational getaways for tourist still remain closed. And with these closures still in place, employment and revenue in these areas are also lost.
Downward trends with regards to revenue and employment in this sector will still be expected until full scale vibrancy of the tourism industry is realized which by health economic indicators will not be happening anytime soon.