Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts and Culture, has said Government will focus on developing domestic tourism in the country, this year.
Speaking at a media briefing in Accra, the Tourism Minister urged operators and owners of hotels, motels, and tourist facilities to reduce their rates and charges to encourage local patronage.
Mrs Gyasi said the country’s tourism sector witnessed massive patronage during the ‘Year of Return’ last year with 1.13 million foreign tourists visiting the country, raking in $3.312 billion in revenues.
A survey conducted by the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) revealed that each tourist that visited the country last year spent not less than $2,931 on accommodation, car rental services, food and entertainment events or concerts during the ‘Year of Return’.
The Minister made these known when she provided details of the easing of restrictions on the tourism sector.
This year, the Minister said, the Ministry had allocated $4,000,000.00 towards the development of tourism sites and information in the country and $5,000,000.00 for tourism enterprise support.
With regard to stimulus package for players in the hospitality and tourism industry, the Minister said, the GTA would support applicants with the various modalities of application to access the funds.
For instance, the hospitality and tourism operators could also apply for support from the GHc600 million COVID-19 Alleviation Programme meant for micro, small and medium scale enterprises, which the National Business for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) is currently disbursing to applicants.
Additionally, tourism sector players could access the three billion Ghana cedis being provided by selected commercial banks as well as the nine million dollars support being provided by the World Bank under the Ghana Tourism Project.