Figures released by international online hotel booking company, JOVAGO has indicated that the total contribution of Travel and Tourism to the GDP was around GHC 10.5 billion (US$2.7 billion) in 2015, representing 7.8% of the GDP.
It is forecasted to rise by 2.4% in 2016.
Directly, the industry contributed GHS4.5 billion (US$7265 billion) in 2015, representing 3.3% of total GDP. By this, tourism is the fourth largest contributor to Ghana’s GDP, coming after oil, gold and cocoa.
According to JOVAGO, the direct contribution is expected to grow by 2.7% in 2016. The figures, which was contained in a report titled “Hospitality Report Ghana” also stated that total spending on Travel and Tourism has seen a steady growth.
“It increased from US$1,982 million in 2008 to US$2,372 million in 2013, from a contribution of 2.8% of GDP in 2008 to a contribution of 6.67% of GDP in 2013,” it stated. Presenting the figures at the launch of the report in Accra, the Marketing Manager of JOVAGO, Mr. Bennet Otoo stated that Travel and Tourism generated 292,000 jobs directly in 2015, representing 2.6% of total employment.
According to him, the figure is expected to grow by 2.4% in 2016 to 299,000.
Touching on some reasons that drive tourists to visit Ghana, Mr. Otoo disclosed that the top three reasons for visiting Ghana were business, representing 40%, visiting friends and family, representing 25% and holiday travel representing 20%.
He disclosed that the hotel sector was the fastest growing area under the industry reaching 1,775 in 2013 with 28,028 rooms.
The tourist sites that attracted the most visitors in 2013 were Kakum National Park (184,000), Cape Coast/Elmina Castles (157,000) Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park (93,000), Kumasi Zoo (68,000), Wli Waterfalls (63,000), and Manhyia Palace Museum (51,000).