Ghana tourism industry to lose over $170m due to COVID-19

Ghana Tourism Authority statistics reveal that the tourism sector will witness a down size in the next five months resulting in revenue loss of $170 million in the formal and informal space due to the COVID-19.

The pandemic would have a serious negative impact on revenue generation to the industry and government for national development.

Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Accra on the effects of the COVID-19 on the industry.

The Minister said government acknowledged their predicaments and would work assiduously to institute a support system for the industry.

She assured stakeholders of government’s commitment to the sector, assuring them that the sector would bounce back stronger to optimise the lost gains.

The Minister, in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority, presented items to the Federation to contain the spread of the disease.

The items are 30 boxes of hand gloves, 6000 pieces of nose masks, 20 gallons of hand sanitizers, 3000 medium sizes of hand sanitizers, and 200 pieces of Veronica brackets.

She advised the Federation to adhere to the precautionary measures from the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service.

Mr Akwasi Agyemang, the Chief Executive Officer, GTA, said to ensure that stakeholders adhered to directives on social distancing, the Authority visited beaches in the city to ensure total compliance to the orders.

The team placed notices on all entrances of the beaches with the inscription “Beach closed to Curb Spread of COVID-19, by GTA”.

Mr Agyemang said the exercise was a precautionary measure to alert operators of the beaches that Parliament had passed the law against public gathering and any individual or entity found flouting the law would be prosecuted.

Parliament on Friday, March 20, under a Certificate of Urgency, passed the Imposition of Restrictions Bill, 2020 to give legal backing to the President’s imposition of restrictions on persons in the event of disaster, emergency or similar circumstances, for public safety and protection.

He said the team would visit those beaches at the weekend to monitor the progress of the orders and arrest people who flout the directive.

Ghana has so far recorded 136 confirmed cases of the global pandemic with three deaths.

Government, on Sunday, March 15, announced a number of preventive measures to contain the COVID-19.

Among the measures was the suspension of all public gatherings, including conferences, workshops, funerals, political rallies, sporting events and religious activities for the next four weeks.

Businesses and other work places can continue to operate but should observe prescribed social distancing between patrons and staff.

Establishments such as supermarkets, shopping malls, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and drinking spots should observe enhanced hygiene procedures that provides hand sanitizers, running water and soap for hand washing.

Source: GNA

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