As the hospitality sector continues to find ways of recovering from the impact of COVID-19, it fears increases in fuel prices among other factors will stifle recovery efforts and plunge the sector into new lows.
According to Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, President of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), the industry largely depends on the movement of people; therefore, an increase in fuel prices could limit the rate at which people move around – a situation that will indirectly affect their operations.
He, therefore, urged the government to step in and deploy measures to curb the continuous hikes in fuel prices. He also argued that the poor nature of roads also serves as another hindrance to movement and is limiting continuous visits to tourism centers – a key area wherein government and respective authorities must channel their efforts to help the industry bounce back.
“To speed up the industry’s recovery process, attention must be paid to road networks and transportation – a reason why we are so concerned about the hiking of fuel prices, because that has implications on traveling,” he said
Progress in sector
Dr. Ackah-Nyamike Jnr. disclosed that by the end of 2021 the association had realized a much-improved performance of the general hotel, events, tours and hospitality industry, compared to 2020 when the sector was severely hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“By end of 2021 we saw gradual improvement in terms of occupancy, events; and by end of the year, we were averagely doing about 65 percent. But like a normal curve, we have those who didn’t do very well and we have those who did well beyond the 65 percent. We are also looking at collaborations and partnerships with other tour associations to boost growth,” he said
He added that the sector is hoping to make more progress this year, and hence deemed it necessary to add its voice to urge the government to check fuel price hikes as it is a factor capable of hindering its efforts.
Fuel prices hike
In a statement dated January 10, 2022, the Concerned Drivers Association of Ghana (C-DAG) announced a 40 percent increment in transport fares across the country from Monday, January 17, 2022.
The Institute of Energy Security (IES) has also projected another increment in fuel prices. Its projection for January’s second pricing window indicated that it expects a further increase in fuel prices at the pumps, of between GHp30 to GHp40 per litre.
The IES based its projections on the back of the 7.42 percent increase in the price of Brent crude, the 9.46 percent increase in the price of Gasoline, the 8.52 percent increase in Gasoil price and the 0.3 percent depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar.