Business News of Sunday, 19 June 2016
A new report conducted by international online hotel booking company, JOVAGO has revealed that visitors who come to Ghana for tourism purposes do not search and patronize 5-star rated hotels.
The report, which is titled “Hospitality Report Ghana 2015” stated that even though there are only three 5-star hotels in the country , and all in Accra, tourists normally search for 2-star hotels which must be affordable and meet international standards.
According to the report, in the Greater Accra region,16% of tourists searched for 1-star hotels, while 49%, 24% and 11% search for 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star hotels respectively.
In the Ashanti region, 19% of tourists searched for 1-star hotel while 73% searched for 2-star hotels with the remaining 8% searching for 3-star hotels.
Even though the Ashanti region has some 4-star hotels, the report pointed out that tourists who visited the region were not interest in 4-star hotels.
In the Eastern region, 36%, 50% and 14 % searched for 1-star, 2-star, and 3-star hotels respectively.
The Central region which has a lot of tourists sites had searches in only 2 star hotels and 3-star hotels, with 41% and 59% respectively.
In the Western region, 11% of tourists searched for 1-star hotel while 72%, 11% and 6% of tourists searched for 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star hotels respectively.
The Brong Ahafo region also had 8%, 57%, 22% and 13% of tourists searching for 1-star, 2-star, 3-star and 4-star hotels respectively.
Interestingly, hotels in the Volta region, Northern region, Upper East, and the Upper West region had no search for any star-rated hotel.
Speaking to Citi Business News after publication of the report, the Country Manager of JOVAGO Ghana, Claire Staal explained that high cost of hotel accommodation and access to internet are important things tourists consider in lodging in a hotel for tourism purposes.
According to her, the cost of hotels in Ghana, compared to similar ones across the world with same facilities show that spending time in Ghana is very expensive.
Touching on the four other regions that did not record any search, she stated most hotels in Ghana do not have reliable websites with contacts that can be easily reached.
“It is precisely because of this difficulty that is why we are giving them an opportunity to advertise their hotels on JOVAGO to improve their activities and the hospitality industry in Ghana,” she said.
She noted that with the growth of ICT, tourists always want to learn about a region before they move, hence the need to improve internet connectivity to all the regions to promote tourism.
Tourism contribution to GDP in 2015
Figures released by JOVAGO also 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 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).