Business News of 2014-02-20

Hoteliers fume at Bank of Ghana

Some key players in the country’s hospitality industry have registered their displeasure with the new policy guidelines from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) aimed at stabilizing the Ghana Cedi.

According to them, the new directives, which prevent operators from using foreign currencies, have the potential to collapse the entire tourism sector, which is the third highest income-earner for Ghana.

For them, the hospitality industry and the entire tourism sector must be exempt from the new directives to ensure the survival of operators.

Hoteliers from Royal Fiesta Hotel, Holiday Inn Hotel and African Regent Hotel, expressed their grievances to the Ministry of Tourism at a stakeholders’ meeting on the dollarization of the country’s economy at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra on Tuesday.

According to them, the hospitality industry has over the years contributed immensely to the generation of revenue and therefore it should be exempt from the new directives.

“The hotel industry must be exempt from these new policies. I will like the Minister of Tourism and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to rethink the decision,” said the General Manager of La Villa Boutique Hotel, Leeford K. Quarshie.

However, the Head of Financial Stability Unit of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Benjamine Amoah, on his part, told the hoteliers that BoG would not exempt any sector of the country’s economy.

“We want the law to work and so everyone must obey it. If we exempt some people and leave others, the others we may be leaving out would complain that we are being unfair,” he said.

According to him, the directives were not aimed at stifling the operations of businesses across the country but to address the dollarization of the economy.

“We don’t intend to stifle economic stability. Our responsibility is to ensure financial stability which would bring about economic growth,” he said.

He advised the hoteliers and other businesses across the country to adhere to the new directives of the BoG in order to avert sanctions.