DECEMBER IN GH: Current High Cost of Living won’t affect arrival of International tourists – Minister for Tourism
Despite the current persistent rise in the cost of living in the country, Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal has contented that it won’t have any dire impact on the projected number of international tourist arrivals this year.
The World Economic Forum’s 2021 Report ranked Ghana as the number one tourism destination in West Africa from its previous position of number three. This ranking was occasioned by a number of factors including the competitive advantage of Ghana in the tourism industry compared to other countries.
Based on these ranking and other factors, the Ministry has estimated about one million international arrivals this year to spend their Christmas festivities in Ghana.
Despite the advantage Ghana has in the sector, the cost of living in the country is currently on the persistent rise hampering affordability – a key factor in choosing a tourism destination.
Inflation rate in December 2021 stood at 12.5%. Nine months down the line, the rate has sharply risen to over 37% indicating an astronomical rise in the prices of goods and services.
But the Minister for Tourism says this menace will not have any negative impact on the estimated number of international arrivals but will rather increase the number.
Justifying his stance in a media briefing on Wednesday at the Ministry of Information in Accra, Dr. Ibrahim Awal explained that there are benefits and satisfaction these international tourists gain when the visit the country hence the cost of living will not in anyway scare them away.
He further noted that the current exchange rate will even inure to the benefit of these tourists since a dollar presently will earn them more cedis for their expenses whilst in the country.
“When people are coming to Ghana, they are going to benefit that is why they will come. If you are spending $1 getting GHC7, you are going to get about GHC10 or GHC11 so they will come and they will bring the dollars into this country. Those coming do not have an issue so it will inure to their benefit and in fact they will come more,” Dr. Awal contended.
He however assured Ghanaians that government is worried about the cost of living situation in the country adding that numerous measures are being put in place to improve the situation.
He said, “the government of President Akufo-Addo is taking measures to improve the cost of living in the country. The government is not just throwing its hands in despair. We are engaging IMF, but we also have our own homegrown initiatives we are employing to make sure that we turnaround the economy. We will turnaround the economy in due course. What we need is Ghanaian’ s support and patience, believe us, we will do it.”
Source: ABC News