University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. John Halstead, UNH Department of Natural Resources & the Environment
Analysis of Environmental Practices of Hotels in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana
Globally, the tourism industry is said to rival the top industry, oil. Ecotourism, tourism that is environmentally based, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry and is now becoming a tool for economic development in many countries. The World Tourism Organization estimates that by the year 2020, twenty-one percent of the world’s population will be involved in some sort of tourism activity (Benavides, 2009), and much of this tourism is said to be in developing countries. According to the Ghana Statistical Service, international visitors have increased at an average rate of 9.4% from 2000 to 2004. Ghana is one of the most visited countries in Africa, and the Ghanaian Ministry of Tourism states that its vision is “to see Ghana become the tourism capital of West Africa, especially in culture, heritage, and ecotourism.”
With tourism increasing rapidly, there will be great stress placed on the environment and the current infrastructure throughout the various regions of the country. Hotels represent one industry wherein practices can cause great stresses to the environment. With thousands of visitors annually and with an expected increase in tourists, it is extremely important to look at what hotels in the greater Accra region of Ghana are doing to offset environmental impact.