TOURISM CAN BE OF GREAT BENEFIT TO THE COUNTRY AND SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors of great economies all around the world. Most economies are now moving away from manufacturing economy into the services economy of which tourism plays a huge role. In fact, some places have been famous and prosperous solely because of their tourism industry. A typical example is Dubai which is amongst the most visited places in the world right and which rose to fame because there were huge investments to promote the tourism sector. Hawaii is also another example of tourism gone right. In our country, tourism has been growing steadily over the years. In 2018 alone, about 1.5 million international tourists were said to have visited the country. The tourism sector is also expected to grow with Ghana expected to rake in about $8.3 million from the tourism sector by 2027 on the back of an estimated 4.3million international tourist arrivals. We shall discuss the benefit of tourism in the country and why it should be encouraged.
First of all, tourism is notable because of the foreign reserve it can generate for the country. The arrival of tourists from international countries means that Ghana will gain the needed foreign currency it needs to trade at the world market. Having foreign currency, especially the international currency dollar, means that one can purchase more goods on the world market easily. Our currency also gets a boost and appreciates if we rake in more foreign currency into the country. Economists have always advocated for the government to find ways and means to generate foreign currency to stabilize the cedi. Sometimes the government even buys foreign currencies in the form of bonds to stabilize the currency. Therefore boosting tourism and generating foreign currency will strengthen our economy in more ways than one. Tourism also opens new opportunities for the country because some investors may visit the country as mere tourists and find opportunities in the country and later come and invest
Another important benefit of tourism is the employment opportunities it has to offer. According to statistics, the tourism sector employs about 882,000 people representing 5.3 percent of total employment in the country. This is very significant considering the country’s unending battle to fight unemployment. These figures are expected to rise significantly if much attention is given to the tourism sector. Most indigenous who live near tourist sites are employed one way or the other by tourism. The Hospitality industry which thrives a lot on the tourism sector also employs a great chunk of people. Ghana also gains revenue from tourism through taxes of hotels and businesses located near tourist sites. The country earns about $1.335billion from the tourism industry alone and this is a huge amount of money.
Tourism is a great way to advertise our culture to the outside world as well as make much-needed revenue. The Government and all stakeholders should invest heavily in it because that is where the future of developing economies lie.