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The Ghana Hotels Association has kicked against government’s initiative to build Akwaaba hotels to facilitate the growth of the tourism industry.
A statement by the former President of the Association and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Mac-Dic Royal Hotel and Training Academy, Barima Kofi Adjei Twinin, indicated that government should rather support the private sector to transform the hotel industry.
According to him, there were about 3,000 hotel facilities in Ghana run by the private sector and employing over thousands of young Ghanaians and therefore “what we need from government is tax cuts, reduction in utility tariffs and import duties to reduce the operation cost as well as the hotel rates in Ghana”.
The CEO of Mac-Dic Royal Hotels and Training Academy made this statements at the opening of the GHA NEC meeting and Inauguration of National Executives in Koforidua in reaction to statement made by an official from the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
He made reference to the many state hotels such as the Eredec Hotel in Koforidua, Ambassador Hotel in Accra and the Woe-Zor hotel in Ho which had all collapsed and observed that if government wanted to improve the hotel industry, “the way to go is to support the private sector to invest in training schools to provide efficient services to clients”.
Earlier on, Mrs Olivia Opoku-Adomah, Director at the Tourism Ministry, stated that in order to improve efficiency in the hotel industry and to improve on tourism, government intended building Akwaaba hotels at designated tourism sites to attract clients.
She said apart from that initiative, the ministry was working to reduce the VAT rate from 17 per cent to 3 per cent and some tax waivers for the hotel industry adding that the high hotel charges at the hotels in Ghana was a source of worry to the ministry.
According to her, the hotel charges in Ghana was a dis-incentive for the tourism industry as tourists complained of Ghana’s high hotel charges as and poor client services as compared to other parts of the world.
The Krontihene of the New Juaben Traditional area, Nana Baffour Tutu Nyantakyi, who chaired the function appealed to government to revisit the proposed construction of an airstrip at Dodowa and Koforidua to boost the hotel industry.
He said the Hotel industry had the potential to create jobs for the teeming youth in the country and therefore the provision of the airstrips would inure to the benefit of the Hotel industry and the located communities at large.
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