Claire Staal, Country Manager of Jovago Ghana, says limited infrastructure, especially good access route to tourist sites in the country, is a major challenge to the hospitality industry.
Speaking at the launching of a report on the hospitality industry in Ghana, compiled by her outfit, Ms Staal said although there are a lot of hotels in Ghana that the company is trying to market, access to some of them is a challenge as the bad roads make it difficult for tourists to get to them on time.
She called for more investment into the development of infrastructure for the sector and the need to promote tourism, in the capital and in other regions.
“it’s not only about promoting Accra, but promoting all the regions so that people get to know more about the locations that exist in Ghana, the events and activities you can do in the different regions and that way, more people will start travelling; Ghanaians as well as internationals,” she stated.
Mr Bennet Otoo, Public Relations Manager of Jovago, who gave highlights of the report, said Ghana’s hospitality sector, with its numerous tourist attractions, has enormous potential to spur the economic development of the country.
He noted that tourism’s contribution to Ghana’s revenue generation has increased by 3.5 per cent over the last few years and represented 7.8 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2014.
Tourism was also the fourth highest foreign exchange earner in 2015, after gold, cocoa and oil.
The report also shows that Koforidua, Kumasi, Takoradi and Cape Coast were top destinations searched. Accra had 86 per cent of the destination searches.
The travel and tourism sector contributed GH₵ 10.5 billion to GDP and generated 292,000 direct jobs; 2.6 per cent of total employments for 2015.
Mr Otoo said the report also noted that most tourists (77per cent) prefer to pay for their hotels when they arrive at the destination instead of using E-commerce platforms to pay online prior to arrival (23 per cent).
He urged players in the hospitality industry to take advantage of the increasing use of E-commerce, as it would aid the development of the sector.
He said other challenges that the report found in the industry included a limited understanding of the hospitality industry.
He said most people saw the industry as including only hotels and tourist sites whereas the sector cover other layers such as car rentals, restaurants and others..