Posted on March 12, 2013


Time to take a small break in the series-I think I might be half way through on theories-to quote a confirmation that my premise, that the Ghanaian government could not care less about the development of tourism, is bang on!

This statistic appeared on the Tourism in Ghana Facebook page. The page comes out of the Ghana Tourism Authority, the agency responsible for carrying out government policy in the tourism.

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Ghana slumps nine places to 117th in the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index published March 7, 2013. Ghana made an overall score of 3.4 out of 7 in the fifth edition of the biennial Index which ranked 140 countries worldwide. Ghana placed 108th and 110th in the 2011 and 2009 editions of the Index respectively all with the same score of 3.4 out of 7. On the regional ranking, Ghana placed 14th in sub-Saharan Africa behind nations such as the Gambia, Mauritius, South Africa, Cape Verde, and Tanzania among others. Seychelles which topped the region with a score of 4.5, placed 38th worldwide. This year’s biennial report published under the theme “Reducing Barriers to Economic Growth and Job Creation” used a combination of data from publicly available sources, international travel and tourism institutions and experts. It also incorporated the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the WEF and its network of partner institutes (research institutes and business organizations) in the countries covered by the report. The survey provides data on many qualitative institutional and business environment issues. The WEF used three subindexes – Travel &Tourism regulatory framework (113th with 3.86 score); Business environment and infrastructure (108th with 2.94 score); and Human, cultural and natural resources (117th with 3.35 score), to rank Ghana worldwide. The WEF explains that the report’s cross-country analysis of the drivers of competitiveness in travel and tourism provides comparative information that is useful in business decision-making and supporting policies of governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism environments. Switzerland, Germany and Austria led the world in terms of their travel and tourism industry competitiveness. Alongside Switzerland and Germany, the United States and Singapore maintained their positions, in sixth and 10th places respectively, according to the WEF. Sweden, the only other country in the top 10 to fall, dropped from fifth to ninth. “Industry resilience has been driven by the growth of the middle class in emerging markets, although advanced economies too are displaying positive momentum. Better policies, harnessing technology and facilitating the movement of people over borders will allow the industry to capitalize on this tailwind and support rising prosperity into the future,” said Jennifer Blanke, Chief Economist and Head of WEF’s Global Competitiveness and Benchmarking Network. The challenge for the industry and its stakeholders today is to maintain this powerful contribution to economic growth and employment, while continuing to proactively pursue the shared goals of facilitating global travel and tourism and protecting host cultures, identities and environments, says Thea Chiesa, Director, Head of Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, WEF.

I highlighted the most significant statement-“governments wishing to improve their travel and tourism industry”…the governments of Ghana have proven over the years that they are not willing to incur this risk by investing in their people!

Here’s another quote from the news release from the World Economic Forum:

“As well as providing insight into how countries are fostering the development of their travel & tourism industry, the report also offers a snapshot on the health of the industry and its role in driving global economic growth. With travel and tourism accounting for one in 11 jobs globally, the report highlights that the industry has proven resilient during the global economic downturn and can be a key factor in paving the way for developing and emerging markets to diversify into higher value economic activities.”

There is so much potential here it’s impossible to be a bystander…