COVID-19 Destroying Ghana’s Tourism Industry

by Kojo Pocu

Coronavirus has caused the world more harm than good. At the beginning of 2020, things have changed and life is not normal as usual. It’s everybody’s dream and prayers that things will get back to normal and that is the same thing the tourism industry in Ghana is praying for.

Ghana’s tourism is one of the great tourism industries on the Africa continent and Africa is the world’s second-fastest-growing tourism industry and was projected to rake in billions of dollars. Ghana’s tourism always depends on international travelers and now since the outbreak of the deadly virus (COVID-19) things have been messy for the tourism industry in Ghana due to the lockdown and borders being closed down.

In 2019, Ghana raked in $1.9 billion from tourism, which contributed over 5.5% to the country’s GDP and it’s the fourth-largest source of foreign exchange earnings. Ghana tourism is the key driver that generates foreign exchange earnings and also creates jobs and wealth as well as stimulates other sectors of the economy. Will the tourism industry lose such amount in 2020?

During a life DWtv interview with a tour operator explain how this pandemic is destroying his company and the country. Moses Femi Gbeku from Mofeg travel and tour fears for his tour company.

“I had my last tour just before COVID-19 actually became a pandemic, and after that, I had about six tours canceled. For these tours, people came from the US, Canada, and European countries,” said Moses.

His company normally operates seven tours a year in several West African countries. The cancellation of six tours means his agency is out of business for the rest of the year and at least 20 tour guides and other staff are jobless.

“Directly, you have affected twenty people, indirectly you can multiply that. You are going into 200 if they are feeding at least ten people at a time,” said Moses during DWtv interview.

It’s a similar story at Watch and Dine Cinema in Kumasi Mall. They normally get international clients and due to the pandemic, the owner had to shut the place down. So let make the same calculation as Moses from Mofeg travel and tour. I mean if Watch and Dine cinema has 20 workers, and each feed at least ten people at a time.

Just see how serious the situation is and yet we don’t know what measure being put in place by the Ministry of tourism in Ghana.
In some countries, there are measures in place and their border will be open soon for international tourists, but the 1.5-meter social distance is required for bars and restaurants and some of them are putting plexiglass separators when the 1.5 meter can’t be guaranteed. Mask is a must at the moment.

We can have the same measures and save out the tourism industry. But my advice for you is, no one can make reliable forecasts for 2020. Everyone to wait before making a holiday plans.

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