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General News of Thursday, 26 March 2020


Coronavirus: Tourism industry to lose US$171 million in five months – Minister

The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng Gyasi says based on preliminary data collected, the tourism industry is set to lose a whopping $171 million in five months that the ministry has estimated the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism industry to last.

Speaking at a stakeholders dialogue meeting between the Ghana Tourism Authority and its industry players, the minister said available data shows there is going to be loses in both the formal and informal sectors of the industry over the period.

“From the information that I have from the Ghana Tourism Authority, the initial assessment that has been done indicates that the industry is going to have a downtime of close to about five months, which is going to result in revenue losses of about $130 million for the formal sector and about $41 million for the informal sector.”

She said it has become necessary for the ministry and industry players to come up with a workable strategy that will help the industry maintain its footing during and after the pandemic, to mitigate the expected loses.

“We need to strategise to ensure that when this is over and we are back in business, how do we recover this loses? That is why we are here today, to come up with a strategy which we can submit to the government to support us to ensure that we can recoup and contribute to the economy.”

At the meeting, some industry players including airline operators, tour operators and hoteliers tabled their concerns and petitions before the minister for government’s possible intervention. Some of their appeals included government subsidies, suspension of taxes and a request for subsidised logistics for protection against COVID-19.

The minister in her response said the government in its capacity will do everything possible to ensure the survival of the tourism industry which is one of the industries most impacted by the pandemic.

She, however, appealed to the stakeholders to be circumspect in their demands on government as the government’s sources of revenue have also been equally hit by the effects of the virus.

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