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10.05.2005 Regional News

Invest in high quality hotels outside Greater Accra - Research Advisor

By GNA

Accra May 10, GNA - Government and policy makers have been urged to develop strategies that would encourage potential investors to build more quality hotels outside the Greater Accra Region.

Mr Owusu Amoakohene, Research Advisor to the Ministry of Tourism and Modernization of the Capital City, said developing such hotels would attract tourists, who would spend more money to help Ghana to realize its tourism potential.

He was commenting on the sixth issue of the Tourism Data Series under the topic: "Hotels in Ghana".

Mr Amoakohene said, even though there were plans for new high standard hotels, there was the need for a rapid expansion in hotel development in the country as the tourism Ministry aimed at attracting one million tourists by 2007.

"The hotel industry in Ghana is relatively young, but the hotel development trend indicates that Ghana has reached a stage in her development to fully realize its potential," he said. He said the growth in the number of hotels pointed to the development of tourism in Ghana and the potential to generate enormous economic benefits from its development.

The hotel market, he said, had seen an increase in occupancy on a national scale from international tourists as well as local people. Investors, therefore, had the potential to reap benefits from their investments and it was a good opportunity for the clever businessperson.

According to the data, the total number of hotels in the country at the end of year 2003 was 17,352 and out of which 42.5 per cent of hotel room capacity was in the Greater Accra with Ashanti having 14.7 per cent.

Hotels in Ghana were made up of one five star, four four-stars, 25 three-stars while the rest fall under two and one star. The five-star and four-star hotels are located in Accra.

It is estimated that occupancy rate of the four and five star hotels was currently about 75 per cent.

Mr Amoakohene said the data indicated that Government had to encourage hotel developers to build bigger hotels throughout the country.

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