Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has urged players in the hospitality industry to collaborate with the government to increase hotel rooms in Ghana to 100,000 in the next decade.
He explained that with Ghana making exponential increases in post-pandemic tourism arrivals, the current 3,900 hotel rooms in the country would not be enough to accommodate the envisaged number of international tourists in the next ten years.
Addressing the third National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) in Accra at the weekend, Dr Awal said the measures the government had put in place to position Ghana as a choice tourism destination in West Africa demanded the construction of more hospitably infrastructure to enable the country to reap from the anticipated windfall.
Ghana is making giant strides toward reaching pre-pandemic tourism levels. The country’s latest tourism report shows it received 914,892 international tourists in 2022 representing a 47 per cent increase from the previous year’s 623,523.
The corresponding revenue also saw an exponential increase of more than 107 per cent, with the West African country making well over $2.5 billion from international arrivals. On the domestic front, Ghana recorded 937,087 tourists representing a 55 per cent growth in 2022.
The theme of the GHA NEC meeting was: “Sustaining the hotel industry in Ghana post-COVID-19”.
The tourism minister explained that Ghana was one of the 13 countries identified this year as the best place to visit in the world.
“…Ghana is going to be awash with a lot of visitors and when they come and there are no hotels, we will be in trouble”, he stated.
“I want to urge you all to ensure that within the next 10 years, we put up an additional 100,000 rooms in Budget to Five Star hotels for both domestic and international visitors. At the moment, the 3,900 rooms we have in the country are not enough.
“Let’s have a plan and the government will support you on how to build 100,000 hotel rooms for the next 10 years. Discuss with us and we will help you to bring the hotels. Let’s have a blueprint to create 10,000 hotel rooms every year and we will support you”, he said.
Dr Awal implored the hoteliers to form partnerships with both local and foreign investors to bring hotels to Ghana and reassured them of the government’s commitment to creating an enabling environment for hotel businesses to thrive.
“I want to assure you of the government’s support; we want to listen, and so collaborate with us to make Ghana the best tourist destination in Africa. Together we can work out the challenges in the hotel industry and we know you have the people”, he noted.