The Chamber for Tourism Industry Ghana, has urged government to show more commitment to the sector if it is to recover from the impact of the covid-19.
The sector has been one of the worst hit since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, Prince Ntiamoah Boampong, who Spoke to Citi Business News said government must pay critical attention to the sector to enable it thrive considering the impact of the pandemic.
“We are all competing for the tourists who will take the bold step to be visiting countries. And if a tourist is coming to your country and he has a budget he can go for a safari in Northern Ghana and do the same safari in Kenya. When he’s coming to your country and he gets to Kenya and maybe they will charge him a COVID-19 test of 30 dollars and you’re charging 150 dollars, and the airline which is refusing even to charge it, you’re going to charge them penalty, you are not making your country attractive.”
“So we as a chamber we’re saying that government should be looking at some of these things because it’s going to be a burden on the industry. Mind you, during COVID-19 and even now, a lot of our four, five- and three-star hotels became ghost towns. There was nobody there, they closed down, workers were laid off. So now we want to receive more international visitors to be able to jump start all these various hotels.”
He added that, “The hotels are having close to about 20 taxes they are paying. A lot of nuisance taxes in the price build up and so if things like this come on board again, we are making the whole industry unattractive and as a chamber we are very concerned about the businesses of these players and what they do to survive. So, if government wants to help the tourism sector, little things like these charges, penalties they’re giving airlines should be taken off.”
The Sector has been one of the most negatively impact by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many hotels across the country were closed down as some of the restrictions introduced by government to avert a spread of the virus prevented their major clients from entering the country.
But with the reopening of the country’s airport last month came a directive for a mandatory $150 COVID-19 test.
The chamber believes the amount will discourage tourist from visiting the country.