The importance of the hotel industry to Ghana’s tourism sector cannot be overemphasized but, it appears there isn’t much being done to strengthen the ancillary industries that support the hotel sector in the country.
As compared to other countries, hotels in Ghana are reportedly expensive, and running a hotel business in Ghana comes with serious constraints, as hotels in the country are compelled to import bare essentials to meet the needs of their guests.
Hotels operating in Ghana have to import meat, dairy products and vegetables from other countries.
The General Manager of Labadi Beach Hotel in Accra, Adrian Landry has been quoted in an interview on the website Marcopolis saying, “At the moment there is an element of importation from other countries, especially items like fruits, perishables, meat, etc. Those sectors of the economy in Ghana haven’t quite grown to the extent that we would like them to yet.”
“There are definitely opportunities, whether it be in dairy, animal husbandry, vegetables or fruits. Sadly we do have to import items to supply customers. So yes, we do bring in beef from South Africa and pork products from Kenya. A lot of our fruit either comes from Belgium, Lebanon or Egypt. We try to support and assist local producers as best we can in terms of quality and consistency, and we’ve seen improvements in those things. There are opportunities for investors there as well,” he said.
In spite of all these constraints, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has valued Ghana’s travel and tourism sector at $2.102 billion in 2012, and the value of the sector is 5.2% of Ghana’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year 2012, the WEF reported in the 2013 Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index.
The WEF also noted that 255 jobs representing 4.5% were created in the industry out of 1000 jobs in 2012, forecasting that Ghana’s tourism sector will contribute 5.4% to GDP from 2013 to 2022.
The country it said also received an amount of $694 million from international tourism receipts in 2012.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi