More than 11,000 tourists have cancelled their scheduled visit to Ghana because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance said on Thursday.
Presenting the 2020 mid-year budget review to Parliament, Mr Ofori-Atta said the cancellations led to a projected year-to-date revenue loss of GH¢4.8 million.
He said the Tourism and Hospitality Industry was currently one of the hardest-hit by COVID-19, with severe adverse impacts on travel demand and accommodation bookings, domestic tourism, and other segments including; cruises, restaurants and cafes, conventions, festivals and conferences and meetings.
“Within the space of a few months, the Ghanaian tourism industry had plunged from a situation of healthy growth into a crisis mode. Based on data collected by the Ghana Tourism Authority, as at May, 31, 979 accommodation facilities had shut down,” he said.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the Creative Arts industry, which largely employed informal and vulnerable persons with mostly no social protection, were severely affected due to restriction on social gatherings, travel and border closures.