The main aim of this study is to asses challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra. To arrive at sound conclusion, the study employed a qualitative research approach and has explorative research design. The research gathered data from primary and secondary sources. Primary data were collected by conducting semi- structured interviews with twenty one respondents and they are high- level executives such as hotel managers, tour and travel agents, and professional tourism consultants. Lastly data was analyzed in narrative and argumentative essay form. It was found that the tourism market of Accra is affected by numerous forces in its environment; one factor is the political crises which are happening in different regions of Ghana. The political unrest in Ghana creates a negative image on tourist’s perception. The study also revealed that the host country’s image significantly impacts tourists’ decision making on choosing their destination. It was recommended that keeping the political stability of a country is vital for tourism activities. Again the government and public have to work together to secure peace and political stability in their country. There has to be a fair distribution of tourism revenue and also the government has to support this sector since tourism marketing process costs huge budget.

Keyword: - Political crisis, tourism, Accra

1.1. Background of the study
The definition of tourism varies source by source, person to person. There is no consensus concerning the meaning of tourism. Nearly every institution defines tourism differently. According to WTO (World Tourism Organization), “Tourism is a collection of activities, services and industries which deliver a travel experience compromising transportation, accommodation, eating and drinking establishments, retail shops, entertainment business and other hospitality service provided for individuals or groups traveling away from home.” And also UNWTO defines tourism as “a social, cultural and economic phenomena which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business or professional purpose.” These people are called visitors, which may be tourists (excursionists, residents, or nonresidents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which involve tourism expenditure. Regarding this, tourism is a source of income for many countries, especially for tourist destination countries it may bring many benefits from these advantages; the first one is that it helps countries to generate their income which boosts their economy.

Ghana with distinct and tremendous wealth of culture, natural and historical tourism resources has huge potential of earning a great deal of benefits. However the country possess an abundance of tourist attractions, yet tourism infrastructure is at its infancy, tourist products are poorly maintained, access to tourist products are difficult and can be inappropriately expensive, there is lack of promotion this tourism resource to attract tourists to the country. (Addisu Bekele Demie, July 24, 2019)

Jumia Travel (2017) which is online travel agency stated that; tourism creates job opportunity for the host community and since tourism is a source of pride, it helps them to preserve their culture; it improves the development of infrastructures like new roads, parks, public spaces and different utilities being built.

Over the years, the profitable tourism industry has become prevalent in the world. It can promote peace and stability by providing jobs, generating income, diversifying the economy, protecting the environment, and announcing cross-cultural awareness is massive (Sarah, 2005). Modern travelers are concerned about their safety and security. Political violence leads tourists to opt for places where there is peace and sometimes may decide not to go at all (Baker, 2012). Travelers (tourists) are generally susceptible to the country‟s security and safety that they go holidaying (Nyaruwataet al. 2013). So they need to be sure about the peace or the political stability of their target country.

The worst events that affect the sector are caused by humankind, such as wars, violence and political turmoil. These events succeed in frightening travelers (Cavlek, 2002 and Heng, 2006). Among these factors, political crises are the one and the most. According to Zahid Hussain (June 01, 2014), political instability is define as the propensity of government collapse either because of conflict or rampant competition between various political parties.

With the beginning of a new millennium, the world has faced several socio-economic and environmental issues while experiencing significant growth in population (Sönmez, 1998). In this context, different protest organizations have recruited desperate individuals by promising better living conditions. (Amore and Anunza, 1986) cited by Sönmez,1998)). Furthermore, technological developments have facilitated the flow of information (Sönmez, 1998) allowing protesters to either appeal to or frighten a wider audience. In highly politicized countries, numerous sectors including tourism suffer under such political violence and political crisis cases (Morakabati, 2012).

There has always been a steady tourism growth, yet these periods of prosperity have constantly been disrupted through “political conflicts /internal conflicts” (Morakabati, 2012). The issue of political stability and political relations within and between states is critical in determining destinations‟ image in tourist-generating regions and the natural and perceived safety of tourists (Hall 1996). Also, the media through books, magazines, newspapers, satellites and cable links has a substantial influence on images of destinations, especially as media selects particular representations and interpretation of places, events, and images that would greatly influence creating stereotypical images of a tourist destination in tourist generating regions. Political strikes or protests cause problematic concerns in the tourism development and the attraction of visitors.

1.2. Statement of the Problem
According to (WTTC, 2015), tourism and travel, directly and indirectly, influence most nations‟ economies across the world. The increasing number of newly come-out destinations leads this industry to make an enormous contribution to socio-economic development (UNTO, 2015). Ghana is one of best place for tourism attraction in that it needs to be competitive in attracting tourist and need to have appropriate marketing strategy in how to market its tourism potentials (Asmamaw &Verma, 2013).This industry is highly influenced by external factors like natural disasters, contagious diseases, political crises, etc. These external factors hurt this industry and depressed the country‟s economy (Najdic and Sekulovic, 2012).

According to Zahid Hussain (June 01, 2014), political instability is define as the propensity of government collapse either because of conflict or rampant competition between various political parties. Political crises can be unpredictable, leading the country and citizens not to perform their usual duties properly. So tourism is the first sector which takes the hit after the outbreak of the crises. To understand the relationship between political unrest and tourism, we can look at what recently happen to Ghanan‟s northern region, which was very hard to travel, even for domestic travelers. As we know, in northern part of Ghana, Axum is one of the top destinations for local and international tourists. One of the historical places in this city is Axum Tsion St. Mary Church. In my experience as a travel agent, there were a lot of domestic and international tourists traveling to Axum to celebrate “Tsion Marryam” on November 30 each year. This holiday travel is a significant source of income for airlines, hotels, tour operators and for the country as a whole. But this year, because of the political unrest that happens, there was a flight ban, and the cities were complex. As a country, this was a big loss that influences the country‟s economy as a whole.

Most importantly, according to Emma Gordon (2016), East Africa analyst for Verisk Maplecroft, a U.K.-based risk consultancy, stated that: “many investors are waiting to see whether the government has a better solution to the unrest than repression.” Besides, John Aglionby (2016) stated that: different marketing, economic, diplomatic or political strategies might be mechanisms to re-attract veteran and first-time tourists to a destination. However, as it can be learned from some crisis-hit destinations, declaring state of emergency will not always help a given destination to recover from the crisis especially for their primary market. This is compellingly because when a country experiences political upheaval and political protest-related incidence, potential tourists may be warned not to visit the country, which could significantly affect its tourism industry. In any case and at any scale, travel advisories issued by tourist generating governments jeopardize the tourism industry of a crisis-stricken host destination (Yap, Saha, 2013).

The current political unrest in different parts of Ghanan cities has stained the relatively peaceful Ghanan political environment. Tourism was the first sector to take a hit after the outbreak of the unrest. Ghanan tourism is experienced a significant loss of revenues from the tourism market. On February 20, 2019 According to (state-affiliated FBC) report, “Ghanans minister of culture has disclosed that the country grossed $1.4billions US dollars from tourism revenue, the figure was in respect of the second half of (July 2018-December 2018).The formation, however, fell short of the government‟s projected target. “There plan was to secure 2.7billion U.S. dollars, but the country managed to attain 53% of its target by earning 1.4billion U.S. dollars, as the Minster Hirut Kassa told to the media. In terms of figures, about 380,376 foreign tourists visited Ghanan tourist attraction sites in the said period. Ghanan tourism had suffered anti-government protests that affected the industry after multiple states of emergencies were declared to quell the 2015-2018 protests.

In addition, many tourism-related organizations within Ghana have voiced their concerns on the long-term impact of repeated harmful exposure of the country‟s tourism industry. (Yap and Saha,2013). Political instability has occurred from time to time at different locations in Ghana. Although there have been travel cancellations and a loss of tourism business, the possible relationship between political crises and travel cancelations has not been empirically researched (Accra Culture and Tourism office Authority, 2016).

As we can see, the issue of political crises currently is the main problem of the Ghanan tourism industry, and if these issues are not addressed and managed, it will deter tourism growth. There is a need to investigate the negative effect of political crises influencing the Ghanan tourism industry. Above all, to the best of my knowledge, the destructive impact of political crises and other calamities on tourism and socio-economic development of newly emerging tourist destinations of Ghana has not been studied well. Therefore, this study aimed to assess challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra.

1.3. Research Questions
This study seeks to answer the following research questions:

1. What are the major challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra?

2. How does a political crisis become a barrier for the tourism market of Accra?

3. How it has reacted to mitigate its negative consequences?

1.4. Objectives of the study
1.4.1. General Objective
The main objective of this study is to assess challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra.

1.4.2. Specific objectives
The specific objectives of this study are:

1. To assess the major challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra.

2. To find out how political crises can affect the tourism market of Accra.

3. To find out possible ways of minimizing the negative consequences of political crises on the tourism market of Accra.

1.5. Significance of the study
The study mainly focused on the assessment of challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra. More over the results of this study will help to examine the relation between political crises and tourism market. The findings of this study will serve as a reference material and a guide for future researchers who wish to conduct the same kind of study. And also it will suggest or recommends the possible actions that can be taken to improve the tourism market of Accra.

1.6. Scope of the Study
The scope of the study was to assess challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra. From the total population some Hoteliers, tour and travel agents and professional tourism consultants in Accra were purposively selected by using non probability sampling technique due to the following under listed reasons.

Ø Covering the whole population is unmanageable,

Ø Due to time and financial constraints,

Ø Wideness of the sector and to properly manage the research instrument.

1.7. Limitation of the Study
This study was limited to assess challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra. There were some constraints in conducting this study. The major limitations of the study were:-

Difficulty of getting up-to-date data related to the subject matter.

v The unwillingness of respondents to divulge the effect of political instability on tourism in the name of confidentiality was a limitation to the study.

v Respondents might not respond interview questions properly due to fears.

v The other reason was due to time and financial constraints and the period allocated for the study was not long enough to allow a vast study to be done.

1.8. Conceptual definition of Terms
§ Political crises: - is defined as the propensity of government collapse either because of conflict or rampant competition between various political parties. (Zahid Hussain June 01, 2014)

§ Tourism: -“tourism encompasses the activities of persons travelling and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business, and other purposes.” (WTO, 1993)

§ Impact: -is defined as “the action of one object coming forcibly into contact or it is a marked effect or influence.” (Oxford English dictionary May,2021)

§ Tourism market:- Tourism market is a term that is used to refer to that business disciplined by which the visitors are attracted to particular location which can be a state, a city, a specific heritage site or tourist destination spot, a hotel or convention center, anything. (Hitesh Bhasin, May 24, 2019).
1.9. Organization of the Study

The study was organized into five chapters. Chapter one introduces the study by giving the background information on the research problem, objectives, the scope, limitations and definition of variables of the study. Chapter two deal with the review of important literatures, theoretical framework and empirical reviews. Chapter three discusses the research methodology adopted for the study and relevant justification. Chapter four presents the findings on the challenges confronting the tourism market of Accra. Lastly Chapter five presents the conclusions drawn from the research findings and recommendations.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Size: 39 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.


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