Minister of Tourism, Barbara Oteng Gyasi has bemoaned the effects of the pandemic on Ghana’s tourism industry.
According to her, Ghana’s tourism industry has been hit very hard by measures meant to control the spread of the virus.
“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.
Following the advent of the coronavirus in the country, the President had directed the closure of all borders, followed by the closure of hotels, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs, theatres etc.
This had negatively impacted the tourism industry and value chains which depended on these establishments to earn revenue.
However, the Minister believes there is light at the end of the tunnel.
According to her, the Ministry is restrategising to be able to bounce back with full force when more of the restrictions have been eased.
Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, the Minister was hopeful that despite the setback the pandemic may have caused, the Tourism Ministry was working hard to ensure that Tourism 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 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,” she said.