$9million Grant Scheme launched for SMEs in toursim sector
The Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture, has launched a $9million Grant Scheme for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the tourism and leisure sector.
The grant scheme which is under the Ghana Tourism Development Project (GTD), is aimed at supporting indigenous businesses to overcome challenges in the tourism sector.
The grant scheme is in three categories, thus, Site Upgrade Grant, SMEs Grant for companies within the tourism sector, and Capacity Building for emerging companies and individuals with ideas.
To be eligible for the scheme, one needs to register his or her company with the appropriate state entities and the company should be majority Ghanaian ownership.
Addressing the press on Wednesday at the Ministry of Information conference room, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, said, the sector had been identified as a strategic pillar for the economy, and Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.
She said in the country’s quest to improve leisure tourism, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, solicited for a facility from the World Bank to implement the Ghana Tourism Development Project for which an aspect, known as the ‘Grant Scheme’ had been launched.
The minister revealed that the project comprised four main components, namely, Strengthening Tourism Enabling Environment, Developing Tourism Sites and Destinations, Tourism Enterprise Support, and the final component would be a support for the Ministry’s Management and Coordination efforts.
She added that as part of the project, some tourist sites have been identified and currently under renovation at various stages of completion, adding that very soon, a plan for the establishment of a state-of-the-art tourism and hospitality training institutions at different parts of the country would be outdoored.
It was her hope that beneficiaries would utilise the funds to achieve the purpose of the project, adding that her outfit would undertake rigorous evaluation programmes.
Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo, who supervised the launch, expressed government’s commitment to improve the tourism sector, adding that the move demonstrated the vision for the sector.
He said, if the players in the sector utilised the funds successfully, other financial support would follow, because tourism played a key role in the preservation of culture and creating employment opportunities.
The Senior Minister urged stakeholders to take advantage of the opportunities the Grant Scheme presented to revitalise and improve the sector despite the negative effect of COVID-19.
By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme