Government should expedite processes to support hospitality industry – GHA President

Accra, Oct. 8, GNA – The Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) on Thursday launched its fifth Awards, 2022, with the call on government to expedite processes to cushion tourism and hospitality industry players with stimulus packages.

The Association said the industry was one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and although government could be applauded for some interventions, including the three months free electricity, lifting of the restrictions among others, the tourism industry was yet to benefit.

Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, President of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), said, “Government, through the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture is yet to disburse the GHS 55 million tourism grant to industry players as promised barely two months after end of application”.

He said the support from government, through the Ghana Enterprise Agency was also ‘not exciting at all, because we only received scanty monies, for our businesses which are capital intensive.”

The awards ceremony slated for January 22, 2022, is on the theme “Resilience and sustainability of the hotel industry in Ghana”.

The President said the awards were not for only the winners but for all hotel practitioners in general to celebrate their resilience. “To survive all these challenges to this extent and still go on with the awards is in itself resilience, the challenges of the industry are varied but if you look at the importance of the industry to the economy, then sustainability becomes an issue,” he said

Dr Ackah-Nyamike Jnr said high cost of hotel operations like utilities, taxes, paying of regulatory fees as well as maintenance cost and staff remuneration were some of the things that made business stressful and if the hotel businesses must operate in the next 10 to 15 years, efforts must be made to support them.

He commended government and the Ghana Tourism Authority for the launch of the Domestic Tourism, and “Experience Ghana, Share Ghana” drive campaign, adding domestic tourism had lot of issues like governance, security, internet coverage, and road network, which needed to be looked at.

He called for effective partnership between the public and private sector to continue to grow and develop the sector into productive business.

Mr Kwame Appiah Danquah, Chairman of the Award Planning Committee, said the pandemic came at a time when the industry was beginning to experience some level of appreciation from global travel, and presented an opportunity for assessment on the hospitality industry in the hotel sub sector operation.

The Committee will reward 24 deserving hotels in 24 categories across the country.

The categories are Most Resilient Hotel, Most Secured Hotel, Most Digitalized Hotel, Hotel of the Year, all for Budget, One, Two, Three, Four and Five Star.

There will also be four special awards which include GHA Regional Branch of the year, Hotelier of the year, Award for significant contribution, and lifetime achievement award.

Members in operation before December 2019, and members of good financial standing for the 2019, 2020 financial years were eligible to apply for the awards, while the Regional branches have between October 8 to November 5 to select nominees for awards related to Budget, One, Two, Three, Four and Five Star.

Nominees for the various categories shall be assessed by an independent assessor to come up with winners.