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Expensive hotel charges retarding local tourism – Parliament

Parliament on Wednesday observed that high charges by operators of hotel and hospitality industry in Ghana were hindering local tourism.

Members of Parliament (MPs) were contributing to the second reading of the Tourism Bill 2010 that sought to establish the National Tourism Authority to regulate the tourism industry in the country, on the floor of the House on Wednesday.

Mr Joseph Osei-Owusu, MP for Bekwai, said charges by hotel operators were expensive and discouraging Ghanaians from touring their own country.

Dr Osei Akoto, NPP MP for Old Tafo, said hotel bills in Ghana were high as compared to other countries.

Mr E.T Mensah, Minister for Employment and Social Welfare and NDC MP for Ningo-Prampram, said tourists in Ghana spent four times what they would have spent in other African countries particularly South Africa, on hotel charges.

He called on the authorities to work towards reducing hotel charges to encourage Ghanaians to tour their country.

Mr E.T Mensah appealed to colleagues MPs to tour the country to enable them to gather adequate information so that they could effectively contribute to Parliamentary proceedings.

Mr David Tetteh Assumeng, NDC MP for Shai Osudoku, called on Government to develop more tourist sites to generate funds for development, and asked schools to integrate tourism into academic programmes.

Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, NPP MP for New Juabeng North, expressed worry that most hotels were being patronised only by foreigners because of the high charges.

He noted that one of the greatest income generating potentials for Ghana was tourism but unfortunately revenues that accrued from the sector was below imagination.

A report on the bill was presented by the Chairman of the Committee on Trade Industry and Tourism, Ahaji Amadu Sorogho, NDC MP for Abokobi-Madina.

He said that tourism had become a global and highly competitive socio-economic and environmental activity both in developed and developing countries.

Alhaji Sorogho said tourism has become the biggest and fastest growing industry world wide, which according to him stimulated other sectors such as agriculture, finance and manufacturing.

He noted that apart from generating foreign exchange earnings, tourism had the potentials of becoming an avenue for pro-poor development because of its ability to create jobs and wealth for rural economy as well as conserving natural resources.

Alhaji Sorogho said despite the role of tourism in national development and its role in conservation of historical, cultural and natural resources, there was no linkage between tourism and agencies that had direct responsibility for these resources.

He said there were laws on tourism but they dealt separately with hotels, wild life preservation, national museums and monuments and investment promotion among others.

Alhaji Sorogho indicated that coordination between tourism and agencies that enforced the laws, some of which impacted negatively on tourism promotion and growth, was weak.

He called for the creation of a linkage between tourism legislation and related laws to remove bottlenecks in the development of tourism.

Alhaji Sorogho said the bill was relevant for the promotion and sustainability of tourism in Ghana and called on the House to support it.

Source: GNA

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5 comments

  1. I am very surprised that it has taken so long for the authorities in Ghana to realized the the hotels are priced too high. To encourage and spur tourism hotels opearators would need concentrate on the medium markets priced between $39 – $69.

    The idea is to provide a clean fascility with modern conveniences. It does not have to be fancy and provide good customer service.

  2. The housing market is the same. I believe that most of the houses are over-priced with fanciful stuff that is not necessary.

    George Ansong
    Real Estate Consultant

  3. Parliament should not complain about high prices when they obviously don’t seem to understand why newly built hotels charge such high prices. Hotel prices are largely a funtion of what it costs to build the hotel. If one has to import a majority of the materials to build the hotel and pay handling fees, import duties, clearing fees, etc, then naturally the hotel prices will be higher than in countries where the building materials are readily available. The prices are high in order to make the hotels financially viable. Now the hotel investment incentives have been repealed, making it even more expensive to build new hotels.

  4. Are you saying most the so called 3star or 4star hotels in Ghana cost more in construction than ” marriot court yard’s” or the “Hilton’s” in US, yet they cost less to stay inn than the rip off (edi preko) mentality in ghana.

  5. James Addo, you hit it right. Adding to your points, even the local materials like Cement and Iron Rods prices are rediculous. Paliament should get to the root cause of high prices in the system. This is not only in the hotel business. Prices of commodities changes everyday and as such the outcome is high prices in services.

    Hopefully, they will get to the root cause of the issues.