Kumasi Hoteliers Cry Out
THE ASHANTI regional branch of Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) is unhappy with the exorbitant fees its members are being charged by various bodies, which is threatening the sustainability of their businesses.
The peeved group, made up of over 200 members, disclosed that some hotels might be forced to fold up and this could result in massive unemployment.
Again, they said if nothing was done about their situation, hotels in the Ashanti region would consider increasing their rates significantly in order to survive – a move which would not make the region the best destination for tourism.
Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi, Chairman of the group, James Adjei appealed to government and other related bodies to come to their aid, and help save their businesses.
He said high bills being paid by hotel owners to bodies like Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDA), Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) and other government institutions, was collapsing their businesses.
Mr. Adjei said currently, there was duplication of license fees being paid by hotel owners, who were being charged annual license fees by the GTA and MMDAs, adding that they were also having problems with unrealistic bill board charges.
He lamented that the hotel owners were also paying excessive charges to the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana National Fire Service.
Mr. Adjei said the Ghana Tourism Authority had also increased sharply, fees it charged hotel operators, noting that 2-star hotels were now paying GHâ‚µ1,000 instead of GHâ‚µ200, whilst 1-star hotels were now paying GHâ‚µ250 instead of GHâ‚µ90.
He lamented that the recent hikes in electricity and water bills was also biting hotel owners hard, adding that high routine maintenance cost to meet ECOWAS standards was not helping their businesses.
Mr. Adjei said lack of enough tourist sites in the Ashanti Region was impacting negatively on their fortunes, lamenting that indeed hotel owners in the region were in a tight corner.
He therefore appealed to government and other relevant bodies to help save their businesses which create employment for most of the vibrant youth.
Mrs. Ewurabena Serwah Buah, MD of Palfina Hotel, Ejisu Krapa near Kumasi, said the financial burden on hotel owners in the region currently was too much for them to bear so the government should do something about their situation.
FROM I.F. Joe Awua Jnr., Kumasi
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