The President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyameke, has called on the government to help hospitality businesses better handle their operational costs, which affect consumers.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, Dr. Ackah-Nyameke noted that “the cost build-up is very high and reflects in the rates that we charge.”
“The cost is very high, so if we don’t get this support from the government then we will continue to have these challenges and the industry will not pick up in terms of employment, as the Minister [of Tourism] wants to achieve in the next two or three years.”
Businesses in the hospitality industry have several financial obligations, with over 20 institutions like the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana Tourism Authority, Food, and Drugs Authority, Environmental Protection Agency, Immigration Service, Registrar General’s Department, Ghana National Fire Service, and the District Assemblies adding separate levies to the list of hospitality operator charges and fees.
In addition, Dr. Ackah-Nyameke noted that workers’ salaries contribute to their cost of operations.
“The hotel has a very high workforce because if you want to know the number of staff in the hotel, you just have to look at the number of rooms,” he said.
“Higher [utility] tariffs for commercial operators really affect our business as well,” he added.
Responding to concerns that the high rates in the hospitality industry are not reflected in the quality of services, Dr. Ackah-Nyameke said such sentiments were skewed by isolated negative reports.
“The point is that one negative experience will cover 20 good experiences, and that is what we seem to suffer in our country when it comes to the services…the few negatives we receive are what seems to dominate the system.”
He however admitted that “the challenge we have is we don’t seem to have that consistent quality of service across the country.”
“With time, if the GTA really helps us to get those standards across the country, then we shall have more good stories to tell than we are telling now,” Dr. Ackah-Nyameke said.
The tourism and hospitality industry continues to grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.