Players in the hospitality industry have asked the government for enhanced support to ensure a sustained recovery of their businesses from the effects of COVID-19.
Even though the government has set aside various financial packages to aid players in the industry just like other sectors, the hoteliers say they need more interventions to save the sector from collapse.
Speaking to Citi Business News after a press conference to drum home their concerns to the government, President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, pleaded for more support from the government to help their businesses bounce back.
“Some of the support has already been announced by the government. Unfortunately, we’ve not really been able to access it. A quick reference to the GHS600 million that was channelled through the NBSSI. They are disbursing, but we are one of the worst-hit industries. If after four months after the application started and almost all the hotels have not received any assistance, then there’s a challenge.”
“Again, the government promised free water, but the Ghana Water Company through their Minister decided to exclude commercial workers which include hotels. That has also been challenging. We’ve also had challenges with tax payments. So we are calling on government to at least suspend some of these taxes and give us some relief,” he pleaded.
The Ghana Tourism Federation, although joining the call for government’s support, says the industry, on their part, has put in place some strategies to boost patronage of the hotels.
Its Vice President, Kwesi Eyison, told Citi Business News that, “Our human capital constitutes the most important asset to us. So that is where we come from; to bring them up to speed, especially in this new normal where health and safety are going to be very key drivers for our recovery process. So we’ve been doing that a lot by way of building the capacity of our employees and trying to create awareness on safety and security so that even the domestic tourists who would ordinarily be seeking accommodation in our various hotels and other tourist attractions will feel confident and be reassured that when they visit out hotels and tourist attractions, they are very safe.”
The coronavirus pandemic has grounded businesses around the world and forced others to either close down or operate at half capacity, leaving millions of people jobless.
The devastation to economic activities is without limit as almost every sector of the economy across the world has taken a hit.
One of the hardest-hit sectors is the tourism and hospitality sector.
In Ghana, the hospitality industry is projected to create about a million jobs while contributing about 6.2 percent to the country’s GDP.
Most of the income realised from the sector mainly comes from foreigners who visit the country.
However, the sector has experienced a significant drop in demand and a surge in job losses.
Although a partial easing of restrictions and reopening of Ghana’s international airspace has allowed for hotels to accommodate some events and passengers from foreign countries, business in the sector has still seen no significant difference.