Hoteliers appeal for stimulus package to sustain businesses
Hundreds of facilities in the tourism and hospitality are reeling under severe economic challenges threatening their growth and sustainability, Mr Kwasi Nkoom, the Central Regional Chairman of Hoteliers Association of Ghana (HAG) has said.
He said the introduction of high taxes and levies, coupled with price hikes are crippling the hospitality industry in the Region.
He told the Ghana News Agency that “the number of taxes hoteliers in the country pay to government, services of hotels and other operations, are expensive.
“Cost operations, maintenance, transportation, and utilities have gone up astronomically,” he said, and called on the government to help transform the tourism and hospitality sectors with the right stimulus packages to enable them to grow, expand and create jobs.
Accordingly, he appealed to government to disburse the $10-million Ghana Tourism Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) grant for players in the hospitality and creative arts sector to enhance and expand their businesses.
The grant, which is a government of Ghana initiative supported by the World Bank, seeks to assist 1,500 SMEs operating in the sector to modernise and improve tourist sites, restaurants, tour operations, event organisation and related businesses to become attractive and competitive.
To the hospitality players, he said it was incumbent on all to ensure that their businesses were properly structured and governed in accordance with the terms of the industry .
“This is because good corporate governance is key to transforming corporate organisations in frontier and emerging economies, and policies that seek to plug gaps in weak corporate governance structures are essential to create robust economies,” he noted.
Mr Nkoom said although the country had companies that had thrived as a result of good corporate governance, poor corporate governance had been cited as a major factor that had led to the collapse of many businesses.
Mr Nkoom also urged operators in the hospitality industry to improve on their customer services in order to maintain their cherished customers and even attract more to their facilities.
“There is the urgent need for owners of the various hotels and guest houses in the country to train their workers on customer care and make sure that guests are well taken care of and treated like kings and queens”, he said.
He said prioritizing customer care was very important and a key to a profitable and vibrant hospitality industry.
“Clients or customers of the hospitality industry take these little gestures seriously and so can recommend or tarnish your business to other people, hence the need to take customer care services seriously and make your customers feel loved always,” he added.