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The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, says his outfit targeting to create one million jobs in the sector.

The sector continues to grapple with the impact of COVID-19 as it is one of the worst-hit, but the minister is confident that will turn for the better soon.

“Under our new tourism drive, we want to create one million jobs, between now and ending of 2024 from domestic and international tourism. We cannot achieve this without upping our game and without being ambitious as tourism operators. I therefore want to urge all of you within the tourism value chain, whether you are hotel owners, car rentals, tour guides, restaurants, chop bar owners etc let us have a new paradigm shift that tourism is not business as usual; it is money,” the minister said.

The minister spoke during the launch of the National Tourism Destination Single Window Portal in collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority.

The app is expected to bring together service operators and the public into one marketplace to enhance service delivery.

The project is aimed at tackling challenges in the tourism industry and is targeted at putting Ghana on the map, providing real-time data for policymakers and investors, and cut down on delays in the registration and licensing of tour operators.

The pandemic, as sudden as it came, took a lot of businesses in the tourism sector by surprise, crippling many of them for months.

The restrictions associated with the pandemic deprived a lot of tourism-oriented businesses of a conducive environment to thrive.

The closure of the country’s borders and the lockdown of most parts of the country denied international tourists, who are the major clients of tourist sites, access into the country and brought several business activities to a standstill.

Many of such entities could not survive the period of inactivity, forcing them out of business while the determined few downsized.

Amid the pandemic, the government has been making some efforts to revive the sector, with the most recent being a $55 million grant from the World Bank to boost the tourism industry.

The funds will be limited to COVID-19 Response grants, SME grants and site upgrade grants.

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