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Ghana’s ecotourism sector contributed $1.2bn to GDP in 2020

Ecotourism contributed $1.2 billion to Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020. This contributed 5.5% of GDP in the year amid poaching, logging, and illegal mining activities.

Poaching is hunting or capturing wildlife without permission from the respective authorities. Ernestina Anie, Public Relations Officer of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the activities continue to pose threats to conservation and the promotion of ecotourism.

She explained that aside patrons paying to watch animals at ecotourism sites, wildlife animals played an important role in the ecosystem.

The World Tourism Organization’s World Tourism Barometer has meanwhile indicated that global tourism increased to 415 million in 2021 from the 400 million in 2020.

According to the WTO, the 415 million represent a 4% growth rate from 2020. It, however, noted that the 4% is still 72% below the figures recorded prior to the COVID-19 era, which started in 2019.

“This follows on from 2020, the worst year on record for tourism when international arrivals decreased by 73 percent,” the report added. According to the report, the 4 percent growth recorded was due to the rising rates of vaccination, combined with the easing of travel restrictions due to increased cross-border coordination and protocols.

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