Hospitality industry in crisis – GHA

The Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) has told Citi Business News the hospitality industry has plunged into crisis due to the rising cost of operations in the sector.

The Association asserts that the over 200% increment in utility bills over the last two years is one of the main reasons accounting for the rise in the cost of doing business in the industry.

Uutility bills alone are reported to take up to 45 % of their cost of operation.

Speaking to Citi Business News the National President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Mr Herbert Aquaye said the industry has been  facing a  negative growth of  2.2 % for the last eighteen months but it will turn around if government intervenes.

‘As hotels we use water and electricity commercially the current situation where over a two year period we have suffered more than 200% in increment has not helped because most hotels are in crises because utilities form already over  45% of their cost of operation’.

Some business owners who have been speaking to Citi Business News say the high tax regime has contributed to a stunted growth in their respective businesses.

Earlier some industry players told Citi Business News  the rising cost of doing business in the sector has caused their profit margins to dwindle.

The Chief Executive Officer of online hotel booking website- Jumia Travel, Paul Midy also in an interview with Citi Business News was confident a tax cut or waiver will significantly facilitate the growth of the industry and enhance better services to customers.

“The taxes are too high for a sector like the tourism industry. It should be lowered for the businesses because we are forced to charge high prices when providing services whether in a hotel or others in the tourism industry. So I think it is something that should be looked at,” he stressed.

Meanwhile Paul Midy has also advocated increased investments to improve the infrastructure network of the tourism industry.

Like others in the industry, Mr. Midy believes Ghana’s tourism sector seems to be losing out despite its huge potential on the African continent due to low investments by government.

He argues that the lack of investment such as better road infrastructure as well as good communication systems have compelled most foreign tourists to shy away from relative remote tour sites.

“We have a team which works on the ground and brings us feedback. Some of the things that tourists look out for are the quality of hotels; number of hotels and the issues of accessibility…the number of tourists keep on growing and Ghana could envision of Europeans coming into the country for instance.

So Ghana needs to keep on working to improve access,” he asserted.

By:  Anita Arthur/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana

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