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N/R: Seventy-five percent of hotels in northern region closed down as a result of covid-19- Northern regional Secretary


The northern regional branch of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA) has said no hotel in the region has benefitted from the government’s coronavirus stimulus package being managed by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI). The Regional Secretary of the Association Gilbert Dery said this in an exclusive interview with Zaa news. He said the industry was worst hit by the pandemic and members are yet to receive the stimulus package.

He added that monies were rather given in a form of grants to hotel owners who submitted application for support to revive their businesses.

‘’Government’s relief to cushion businesses, hotels are yet to receive support in that director, applications have been submitted by hotel owners who need some support to revive their businesses and fortunately for us, those monies are coming in a form of grants and not in a form of loans but the total amount involved cannot touch every hotel so some of us did not even apply’’, he said.

According to the Secretary about 75 percent of hotels had to be closed down as a result of the pandemic, while others had their occupancy rate reduced drastically from March till date. He mentioned other adverse effects of the pandemic on the industry, including bookings, temporary and permanent lay off of some hotel workers and payment of salaries, pension, credit facilities and utility bills. He however commended government for the strict measures put in place during the peak of the pandemic to curb the spread of the virus.

‘’If government had not put in place measures to control the spread of the virus, we could have had a lot more people unhealthy, with people who travel into Ghana infecting others with the virus which could’ve been disastrous to the growth of the country’s economy, he indicated.

 Mr Gilbert further lamented that hotels are burdened with a number of taxes some of which he describe as nuisance, preventing recovery of the hospitality industry. He asked that government consolidates some of these taxes based on merits to enable industry players strive.

‘’The hotels meanwhile are burdened with a number of taxes which are not base on the earnings of the hotels, if you leave out the GRA whose taxes are based on your earnings and if you don’t earn you don’t pay. I would’ve thought that the best help which would’ve touched everybody was to for the government to consolidate those taxes and base on merits. Most of the charges even the hotels are not consulted before they instituted and those things are actually driving the industry further into the ground’’, Mr Gilbert opined.

The regional Secretary mentioned that the hospitality industry has evolved over the years with massive improvement in the northern region. The region he said currently has over 200 hotels and appealed to government to consolidate some of these taxes.

By: Lilian D. Walter/

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