Minister of Tourism, Barbara Oteng Gyasi has said the COVID-19 pandemic has really affected the tourism industry in the country.
She explained that the tourism industry has been hit very hard by measures meant to control the spread of the virus. She added that much would have been done if not for the pandemic restricting human movement and travelling.
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“In fact, I have to acknowledge the fact that the Covid-19 couldn’t have hit us at the worst possible time for Ghana because we all know what we did in the year 2019 on the back of the Year of Return and the interest that we generated for Ghana as a tourism destination and everybody looking to follow up in the year 2020 and beyond. And then come 2020 we are hit with this pandemic and how to resolve this pandemic actually kills tourism. So this has been a terrible time for the industry,” she said.
The minister made these assertions on Joy News’ PM Express which was monitored by Talksafrica.com.
The President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Akkufo Addo directed the closure of all borders, followed by the closure of hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs, theatres etc. due to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
This has had a negative impact on the tourism industry and value chains which depended on these establishments to earn revenue for economic growth and development.
According to Minister, the Ministry is restrategizing to be able to bounce back with full force when more of the restrictions have been eased to get the sector moving.
The Minister was however hopeful that despite the loss due to the pandemic, the Tourism Ministry is working tirelessly to ensure that the sector becomes Ghana’s largest revenue earner in the near future.
“Our aim for tourism is to become number one. Now we are at number four. We want to overtake oil, cocoa, everything and become number one. And I believe that if we are able to do it we are going to impact so many lives especially our ordinary people, our rural folk in the communities where our tourist sites are developed. If we are able to do this and come up with the state of the art tourist sites, with all the various interesting additions, improved tourist sites, it would drive more people visiting those communities, impacting the lives of the people there and that will bring economic transformation,”
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Paa Kweku Eshun|Talks Africa Media