The fortunes of most hotels across the country are yet to turn for the better this year as the Ghana Hotels Association says business continued to be slow for its members during the Easter festivities.
The tourism and hospitality industry has been one of the worst-hit since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the election season coupled with the Christmas festivities brought some respite for hotels across the country.
Many had excepted similar prospects this Easter but speaking to Citi Business News, President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike stated that just a handful of these members were able to make some gains.
“We have a lot of people who travel to their villages to celebrate Easter and therefore those who stay behind prefer to spend their holidays at home with their families so room occupancy is usually average. This year is no exception, together with Covid-19, room occupancy has been generally low during these festivities.
“However, for hotels that offered special lunches, special dinners, poolside activities and other special gathering activities, they witnessed some patronage and therefore cashed in during the period but when it comes to room occupancy it was generally low.”
He stated that “Of course you would have some pockets of hotels who by some pre-arrangements and bookings will have high occupancy during the period, but that cannot be representative of the general picture on the ground.”
The Tourism sector continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 despite the easing of a number of restrictions.
As part of the government’s efforts towards reviving the sector, the then interim Finance Minister, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu during the 2021 budget statement and economic policy presentation in Parliament stated that, “The government will provide corporate income tax rebate of 30% to companies hard hit by COVID-19 pandemic for Quarter 2 to Quarter 4 of 2021. Targeted companies include those in the accommodation and food services, education, arts and entertainment, and travel and tour operators.”
The tax rebate will be the second step government has taken to help cushion people in the entertainment and hospitality sectors against the COVID-19 effects.