Tourism Sector Needs More Investment

The tourism sector attracts low Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) investments though it recorded earnings of more than three billion dollars within 2001 to 2006. Mr. Robert Darko Osei, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research said on Tuesday that only 2.4 per cent of the investment went to the tourism industry. He said over the period, FDI earnings to tourism rose in 2004 to about 41 million dollars and called on policy makers to encourage investment in the sector. Mr. Osei who was speaking at a day's seminar on how to maximize the benefits of tourism to investors in the sector and the Ghanaian economy, said the sector need the efforts of the government and the private sector to realize its full potential. The seminar aimed at throwing light on a study carried out in 2008 on FDI and its impact on recipient economies such as Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius, Senegal and Mali. It discussed ways of increasing tourism investment, enhancing linkages between tourism and the domestic economy, maximizing revenue per tourist to businesses and working with local businesses to improve quality of supplies to the sector. Mr. Osei said the medium term strategy for 2003 to 2007 included reaching one million tourists by 2007, making tourism sector the third largest employer after agriculture and retailing and increasing foreign exchange from tourism to 1.5 billion dollars by 2007. He said poor infrastructure development such as bad roads, were some of the problems affecting the sector, adding that certain tourism sites like Lake Bosumtwi had no priority programmes.