The Events industry is a sub-sect of the tourism and hospitality sector. Just as tourism sites and hotels struggled to operate efficiently at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana, the events industry could also not do much.
The ban on social gatherings, which was one of the foremost measures introduced by government to curtail a spread of the virus, meant that the event sector had come to a total halt.
Several events were also cancelled as a result, including ones that customers had even made advanced payments for.
But it’s been over four months since Ghana eased its restrictions on public gatherings and social events.
Mrs. Kate Hassan, the President of the Event Vendors Association of Ghana, an association comprising hundreds of event organizers; told Citi Business News that although the restrictions have been lifted, activities have not picked up fully.
She, however, said they’ve found some innovative ways to keep the players going.
“It’s not been easy, it’s been massively destructive in our kind of business. Now, we are not getting money because we did a lot of refunds. We also had to postpone a lot of our weddings, so most of the weddings we are doing now, is from the monies that were paid a long time ago even before the COVID-19. Now, still, people are not really coming to do events, it’s the old appointments that we took up that we couldn’t do due to the COVID-19, and we are now executing them,” she said.
Kwesi Pratt Hammond, an event host corroborated Mrs. Kate Hassan’s position.
“It’s huge. We have lost lots of money. People have lost businesses,” he said.
Despite this, other players in the industry have also found innovative ways to stay in business.
“COVID-19 has had a lot of negative impacts, I mean generally, but most of the time, when it happens this way you need to look at the brighter side and for me, it was a time for me to actually plan ahead knowing very well that some of these things are temporary situations that have come about. So it was a good time for me to revitalize and rebrand sort of myself,” he said.
But as the festive season draws closer, Mrs. Hassah notes that there will be no significant change.
“Restrictions have been lifted but for me personally, I don’t think it’s been lifted 100% because I know the cases are still rising so wherever we find ourselves we need to be very careful, we need to still stay safe and adhere to the precautionary measures. Obviously, it’s not going to be like the previous years because most of our clients are also from outside and because of COVID-19 and even phase 2 that we heard is coming, most of them have done so many cancellations again,” Mrs. Hassan said.
As the industry still struggles, Mrs. Hassan wants government to expedite the payment of the government’s stimulus package to its members since a number of them are yet to overcome the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We fall under the hospitality industry and government has put certain measures in place to help us or to support us and that is what we are still looking forward to getting that support in the campaign,” she added.