“SSNIT is 100 percent owner of this property [Labadi Beach Hotel]. Anytime a person uses the hotel, they are supporting their own pension funds. This is very important. SSNIT has shown a lot of faith in the property. We believe we can deliver more in the future.
“It’s up to the investors to seek out new opportunities. Investors need to show faith in Ghana, faith in their own product. I know government can play a role, but the private sector needs to carry its own weight.”
Ghana recorded US$2.1billion in tourism receipts for 2014, with the country’s National Tourism Development Plan 2013-2027 projecting tourism receipts of US$4.3billion in 2027.
The UNWTO estimates that there are about 60 million tourists coming into Africa annually. The number of tourist arrivals is also projected to increase in the coming years, after containment of the Ebola epidemic that broke out in the West Africa sub-region last year.
This requires sustained spending to upgrade on-ground infrastructure, and the creation of an enabling environment to attract more private capital into the hospitality sector. It also presents an enormous opportunity to the continent’s aviation sector.
Government has been encouraging state-owned enterprises to explore a PPP arrangement in undertaking various projects, given the limited funding from central government. The tourism ministry and its agencies have said they are open to partnering private sector investors to improve tourist sites and facilities in the country.
Adrian Landry believes that telling positive stories about the country is fundamental to attracting private capital into the country’s tourism sector.
“We need to get the good news out. We need to get the good news out more, and that way I think we will get the investors in,” he said.
Michael W. Rathgeb, the new General Manager for the five-star hotel said: “The world needs to know more about Ghana. It is very friendly, safe and has beautiful beaches. This needs to go out more. The world needs to know it”.
The country has a lot of world-renowned tourist sites that need to be explored further to increase tourism receipt.
The Ghana Museum and Monuments Board lists forts and castles along the coast of Ghana from Beyin in the Western Region to Keta in the Volta Region, including those in ruins, and the ten remaining Asante Traditional Buildings in and around Kumasi in the Ashanti Region as UNESCO Listed World Heritage Properties in Ghana.
Mr. Rathgeb, before joining the Labadi Beach Hotel, worked as the General Manager for several Radisson Blue hotels -- which include Radisson Blue Hotel Anchorage (Lagos, Nigeria), Radisson Blue Hotel Waterfront (Cape Town, South Africa), and Radisson Blue Hotel, Bristol.
Adrian Landry is taking up a new role in Zimbabwe. He said: “I am really looking forward to it. Zimbabwe tourism has some great potential. I am very excited and honored to be taking a position in Zimbabwe”.