Business News of 2014-06-13

Tourism industry to grow by 9.7%

The World Tourism & Travel Council (WTTC) has predicted Ghana’s tourism sector to grow by 9.7 per cent this year, more than the forecasted national economic growth of 8%.

The World Tourism Council, which pegged the tourism industry growth at 6.7% last year is confident the industry will grow by an average of 4.5 per cent in the next decade on the back of a strong government’s backed development programme.

The Council in its Economic Impact 2013 report observed that the government’s 15-year National Tourism Development Plan (NTDP), introduced in 2013, will act as a roadmap for new industry growth as efforts to create a more diversified tourism industry for the country will include a drive to attract new investment, with a particular focus on filling infrastructure gaps through public-private partnerships (PPPs).

“Capital investment in Ghana’s travel and tourism industry should increase by 5.2% in 2013, rising by a further 2.8% over the 10-year period to 2023,” it said.

Government officials expect international visitor numbers to reach 4.3m annually by 2027, up from 1.26m in 2012 amidst government’s anticipation that the industry’s annual contribution to the Ghanaian economy would reach $8.3bn over the same period.

The latest report of the World Tourism Council is consistent with an earlier report by global accounting firm, Ernst & Young, which ranked among the top three countries in sub-Saharan Africa in attracting significant investment into hotel development as the country’s economic growth attracts investors’ interest.

As a result, Ghana has been ranked third in hotel development in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 with more than 1,400 hotel rooms under development, placing the country in a better position alongside Nigeria for lodging growth as a result of its economic prospects and infrastructure development.

Nonetheless, the report noted that growth in hotel lodging in Ghana is being hampered by the average price tag for a hotel room, which opens up an opportunity for small and mid-sized hotels.

Source: B&FT
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