A forum aimed at attracting investments into Ghana’s tourism sector has been held in Accra. Dubded the Ghana Tourism Investment Forum (GTIF) the event brought together stakeholders from the broad multi-facet sector to deliberate on the country’s tourism products, new ones that are planned to be added on and the investment opportunities that exist.
The forum forms part of the many interventions stakeholders especially, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and its implementing agency, the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and the Ghana Tourism Development Company (GTDC) are putting in place to turnaround the country’s tourism in order to shore up visitor numbers and increase receipts.
Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwasi Agyemang said the GTIF was a platform to identify obstacles hindering investments into the tourism sector and policies that would address these obstacles. He said: “It is useful to step back and ask why tourism investment is important, what it can do for Ghana and our people. Through tourism investments we can create jobs and increase the number of direct and indirect jobs significantly from the current estimated 350,000 to more than 500,000 within the next few years.”
Ghana’s flagship tourism project, the Marine Drive Tourism Project, which was one of the key investment prepositions highlighted at the Forum, is expected to create over 150,000 jobs upon completion, a fact that underscores the need for more investments to see to the development of such projects in the country. Mr. Agyemang added that the huge infrastructural gap that exists in the sector can also be addressed with the right investments.
‘’By conservative estimates, Ghana is faced with a huge infrastructural deficit with some 1.5 million per annum needed to address this in the next decade. The tourism sector is one of the sectors that need these investments, ’’ he posited.
The forum which was held at the Kempinski Gold City Hotel in Accra also featured presentations on various topics including one on Ghana’s Tourism Investment Climate presented by the CEO of Ghana Investment Promotion Centre Yoofi Grant.
Speaking to the gathering made up of potential investors, he said has an enabling environment for tourism businesses to thrive and that more and more investors were knocking on their doors to be given access to do business in the country. He mentioned for example that hospitality conglomerate; Shangri-La is in line to put up a property in the country. There was also a presentation on harnessing the country’s ecotourism assets for viable tourism investments which was done by the Forestry Commission.
The maiden Ghana Tourism Investment Forum is to kick-start a series of dialogues, roadshows, networking forums in Ghana and other key markets aimed at unlocking the country’s tourism potentials into an interlocking success plan that drives jobs, visitor arrivals, boost local communities and above all, make a significant contribution to GDP.