The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has stated that it will do everything possible to boost local tourism in the country despite the major setbacks the sector has been facing since the outbreak of COVID-19.Speaking to Accra-based Citi News monitored by GhanaWeb, the Acting Public Affairs Director of GTA, Nelson Jones, explained that a better chance of thriving during these trying times is to focus on promoting tourism at the local level by engaging stakeholders on processes to adopt to make additional revenue.
“The kind of situation we find ourselves indicates that we need to intensify our domestic tourism to get the yield because the times are rough. If you travel to Asia, you will realize that their domestic tourism is the base of tourism. It fetches them a lot of money. They don’t think about international tourism, they rather focus on domestic tourism. So we are trying to intensify efforts, and we are also saying that we have to go virtual so we can boost domestic tourism.”
Meanwhile, according to the Ghana Hotels Association, the only way out for the tourism industry amidst the pandemic is to focus more on the hospitality industry.
“Where we still have the COVID-19 issue, certainly international visits to Ghana will reduce drastically as we are witnessing now. So then the next option is to look within. And over the years we’ve placed some premium on international travels and visits to the detriment of domestic tourism. This is the time to revive domestic tourism,” said the President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike.
In a related development, the Tourism Authority has indicated that close to 70 per cent decrease in international tourist travels into the country were recorded in 2020 and this was due to the closure of the country’s borders as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 in the country.