Ghana’s tourism and hospitality sector has over the years play very significant role in the socio-economic development of the country. It is in this regard that the government is making efforts to rejuvenate the sector to reduce the catastrophic effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the sector over the last few months.
As a result of this the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture through the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTDP) has disbursed an amount of One Million, Four Hundred United States Dollars ($1,400,000) to Fifteen SMEs in the tourism sub-sector.
The object of this initiative is to mitigate the effects of covid-19 pandemic on the operators in the tourism and hospitality industry in Ghana. It is also to improve the tourist sites and boost service delivery in the Ghana’s tourism sector in order to attract the required revelers into the country which will in the long run help grow the local economies.
At the event held in Accra on Tuesday, 20 October 2020, to present the said amount to the beneficiary institutions, the Sector Minister intimated that the COVID-19 has had a debilitating effect on the travel and tourism industry globally. Hence, the need for a concerted efforts by all and sundry to get our shoulders to the wheel to help ameliorate the effects of the pandemic on businesses in the tourism sector in particular and the national economies in general.
Hon. Barbara Oteng Gyasi remarked that the President’s Government is of the considered opinion that when the private sector is being given the needed support it desires, it would be able to propel the tourism sector into higher heights to enable the nation benefit enormously from the tourism sector. She therefore appealed to the private sector to see themselves as agents of growth and development.
The Minister used the occasion to commend the 15 beneficiary institutions for being selected as a beneficiary and appealed to them to use the funds prudently so that it will of great benefit to their institutions and the nation at large. She further charged on the beneficiary organizations to endeavour improving their service delivery in order for Ghana’s tourism sector to be attractive to revelers globally.
On his part, Mr. Daniel Ababio who is a Senior Manager of Ernst & Young, who are the Fund Management Consultant to the project, earlier gave a highlight on the modalities in accessing the funds.
He indicated, that the Grants Management Team, and the Grants Committee, in collaboration with the World Bank Task Team reviewed an excess over 1,400 Expression of Interests (EOIs) since the initiative was launched.
According to him the institutions and individual organizations were subsequently invited to submit their proposals for evaluation and necessary assessment was made before approval was given.
He mentioned the organizations which received the various financial support as follows; the Manhyia Palace Museum, with Gh¢3.36 million, Afadjato-Tagbo Ecotourism Centre, received GH¢690,000.00, the Agumatsa Ecotourism Centre, also had GH¢859,153.00, whiles the Arc World Travels Limited, was given GH¢225, 000.00 and last but not least to have benefited is the Shabasa Travel and tour with Gh¢150,000.00.
The participants were informed that the amount represent 25 percent of the matching grants for the SMEs under the tourism value chain to improve on Ghana’s tourism sector.
Whiles the financial package to the beneficiaries is part of the $40 Million dollars World Bank facility under the Ghana Tourism Development Project