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Economic uncertainties threaten tourism jobs
 
Posted on: 17-Aug-2012         Source: thebftonline.com
 
 
 
More than 2,500 workers who are directly engaged in the tourism sector in the country are expected to lose their jobs this year as a result of uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment and global travel woes, the B&FT has gathered.


New analysis by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that the direct contribution of the country’s travel & tourism industry to employment will drop by 2.5 percent this year to 103,500.


Olivia Ruggles-Brise, Director Policy & Research of WTTC, which provides consolidated data on the tourism industry, said: “Travel & Tourism generated 106,000 jobs directly in 2011 and this is forecasted to fall by 2.5 percent in 2012 to 103,500.


“This includes employment by hotels, travel agents, airlines and other passenger transportation services (excluding commuter services). It also includes, for example, the activities of the restaurant and leisure industries directly supported by tourists.”


Counting suppliers and other economic activities related to travel and tourism, including the wider effects from investment, the supply chain and induced income impacts, the number of people of who could lose their jobs in the economy could reach 4,000.


According to Ruggles-Brise, the total contribution of the travel and tourism to national employment will fall by 1.5 percent this year to 255,000 jobs.


The 2012 economic impact report by the WTTC indicates that investors would nonetheless increase their investment in the sector by 7.3 per cent.


“Travel and Tourism is expected to have attracted capital investments of GH˘493.5million in 2011. This is expected to rise by 7.3 percent in 2012, and rise by 3.2 percent over the next ten years to GH˘727million in 2022.


“However, travel and tourism’s share of total national investment will fall from 4.5 percent this year to 3.8 percent in 2022,” Ruggles-Brise said.


Investments in the tourism sector have been boosted by increasing consumer spending, which reached GH˘2.6billion last year.


Out of this, about GH˘1.69billion was spent on leisure activities with the remaining GH˘917million being spent on business travels in the country last year -- which reflects increases in traveller accommodations, in food services and at drinking places.


This has made domestic tourism a significant contributor to tourism receipts in the country, with the revenue from the sector being what the country got from the export of crude oil last year.


According to the WTTC, the total contribution of the travel and tourism sector to the country’s GDP will grow by 4.3 percent this year from the GH˘3.1billion recorded for last year.


This is expected to be boosted by planned developments in the travel and tourism sector this year, which could push up spending and the industry’s contribution to the economy.


This year, the government in its annual budget allocated GH˘9 million to the Ministry of Tourism in marketing-spend to promote the country internationally, and to also advertise domestic tourism as the government looks to build on the country’s publicity during 2012.


This forms part of a concerted effort to enable the Ministry to enhance the sector’s marketing and promotional activities in a bid to increase patronage at tourist sites.


From the money, tourist receptive facilities currently under construction will be completed to enhance patronage and revenue for beneficiary communities at Saltpond, Agogo, Axim and Kpetoe.


By Evans Boah-Mensah