Hotels Association hits back at Tourism Minister

The Ghana Hotels Association has downplayed accusations from government that the industry has been unproductive in the tourism sector.

The rebuttal, follows comments by the Tourism Minister , Mrs. Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare that hoteliers are not being productive and receptive to new technologies to enhance the industry

She explained that lack of requisite skills by hoteliers continue to render them unproductive although there are opportunities available to enhance their growth.

But speaking to  Citi Business News, at the sidelines of the MTN Hospitality and Housing Fair in Accra, the Greater Accra Regional Chairman of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyamile Jnr said government must rather put measures in place to enable hoteliers reduce the cost of doing business to enhance productivity in the sector.

“You see the point is that there is so much that you can stretch in business. When a regulatory body fixes an annual fee and it is approved by parliament what can you do about it? There is nothing. When electricity cost goes high to a certain level, there is not much you can do about it because business drives on demand and supply,” he lamented.

He added that,“A lot of people think that if cost of business is going high, then why not also increase our room rate? But there is a negative aspect of it because the more you increase it, people also don’t come to your hotel and then you have a challenge there.”

Mr. Nyamile therefore reiterated calls for  government to help the hotel industry flourish.

“So it may not be entirely true that we are not been productive to take advantage of and deal with the high cost of business operations. The point is that we are stretching so much and I think the system itself must find a way to enable us to reduce the cost of doing business. That will be better for all of us,” he appealed.

Hoteliers cry over huge costs                 

Mr. Nyamile  lamented  over the huge cost involved in operating their businesses.

According to him, a 5 star hotel room which previously attracted 40 cedis fee a year now attracts a fee of 200 cedis in taxes.

The situation he said  has pushed them to also increase their charges to stay in business.

Mr. Nyamile said government can make things better by slashing the many charges.

By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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