The Ghana Hotels Association has stated that it is elated about the news of an expected $55 million grant to boost the tourism sector amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr Edward Ackah, indicated that “in this COVID-19 era, any form of support to an industry that has been very much affected by the pandemic is welcomed. It will go a long way to support the hotels. It will go a long way to relieve us of some of the financial challenges that we are facing”.
The association however has some concerns about how the funds will be disbursed.
Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike stressed that they hoped things will be done differently from past grants to ensure the hotel industry benefits from the grant.
“Our only challenge has to do with the disbursement, and I will always make reference to the NBSSI, which for me and as an association was quite disappointing. If the ministry should put their act together and then appreciate the real needs of the hotels and come out with a strategic way of disbursing this money, we will receive the benefit there off.”
“But if we are to go the same old way and I heard they are going to use the NBSSI or now the Ghana Enterprises Agency, to disburse the money again, if they go through the agency, and they use the same method that they used, we will have challenges, and we will come back to the same point,” he added.
The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture last week announced the funding from the World Bank will be limited to COVID-19 Response grants, SME grants and site upgrade grants.
The tourism industry, one of the worst-hit by the pandemic, continues to grapple with its ravaging economic impact.
The government has instituted a number of policies and projects to help revive the sector amidst the pandemic including a recently launched domestic tourism drive.