Ghana Hotels Association Holds Media Launch Of 5th GHA Awards 2022 (VIDEOS)
The Leadership of the Ghana Hotels Association has held a media launch of its upcoming 5th GHA Awards slated for January 2022 in Accra.
According to the organizers, the upcoming awards relate to 2020/21.
Speaking to Journalists in Accra on Thursday, he said "The pandemic came into the system in March 2020 and it has been with us since then and has affected us in various ways. One of the things that stand out is how the hotels have survived”
He hinted that the pandemic caused other hotels to shut down completely.
“Most of the hotels have been able to survive and I believe that is the mark of resilience. That is something that has come out of the struggle of the hotel to stay alive. The other aspect is sustainability, which has to do with shared responsibility”
He stressed that the upcoming Awards will look at celebrating members who have demonstrated such resilience.
He added that the hotel industry is appealing to the government to put in measures to help sustain the hotel industry.
Dr. Nyamike Jnr cited high taxes, regulatory fees, maintenance costs among others as major challenges facing the hotel industry.
“We are using the awards to draw the attention of the government to play its responsibilities while we also play ours as hoteliers” he appealed.
He revealed that the hotel industry had some expectations when the pandemic struck, however, the ‘free-water given by the government had to be paid since there was a misunderstanding between the Presidency and Ministry.
In a panel discussion, the General Manager (GM), Eusbett Hotel said “Sometimes I see that it looks as if suddenly we're prepared for something that could happen not COVID. Nobody knew of COVID coming, but we have put in some measures that ensure that throughout the period we're able to at least move around the flute Indonesia that we don't think though. One of them was, we have our own greenhouse farming within the hotel, so it has a vegetable and those things we produce them. And we have gone into our own put a cattle ranch”
He also said “So we have our own, of course, that is not sufficient to supply the needs of a router on a daily basis but we add on from the market. And we had also invested some five four years ago in solar energy. So, Scylla is when the energy expenditure has dropped by about two days. So, when the COVID came, we decided that we have some of these measures that will sustain us a little. Can we look at a system where we can operate throughout? Fortunately for us, we did not have a shutdown, as those articles for the masses but, so we decided that Okay, let's go into sustainability, how can we ensure that the community who is around us can still benefit from us, even within the panda because we are not like Accra”
He said “The hotel industry is using a lot of people to pay for on the hotel, three P's of sustainability are looking at profits, you're looking at a planet, and then you're looking at the people. So, people, we have asked that were them are people who have moved from Accra to simulate come and work with us evolve with their families. If we had to let them go. What will happen to them? They have dependence depended on them”
On his part, the General Manager of Labadi Beach Hotel, Rene Vincent -Ernst said “So how can we work in hand with something that's become part of our life, and that is COVID-19 whether your volunteers are safe. So we need to find out ways are working with”
He further said “It's very true that the government was very quick and very smart, I have to say in closing our borders and so forth. I think that was a phenomenal thing to do. Today, we begin to see a few illustrations and so forth which is good.
He mentioned that he has seen some tremendous ways in Ghana that are simply breathtaking.
So, what we have learned is to turn our minds inward, and our marketing inward. By doing so, we have, we are now continued that our staycation domestic, domestic tourism rate has ensured that we are occupying 20% of our, of our overall occupancy into staycation and domestic tourism, and that's not a question of something that just happens out there, that means we need to get up and go and use the tools which are available to all of us, whether we are a small industry or where the buck stops” he added.
The Director of Hiland Court Hotel, Hiram Laud Anderson hinted that being a small scaler, its problems were totally different from scales, especially when they were in the small towns.
“If God is to the possible outcome to do this way by one way in the local environment. They expect you to do more with us”
“The quality became a real big problem for mega Pro for us because we do all these externalities, based on the business that we get. and when COVID came in a business virtually dried out. It was impossible for most of us, what says more or less in a small house ended up putting some of them in a few months after the governance is announced, and set up various methods”
“Two anybody will tell you that the numbers were drastically reduced. Make more grey zone of the day, if I please everybody does any type of work on the handling brown the head doctor myself doing everything every day, and something that was done, and is very effective in that I'm going this route to make use of time and space, and I like I mentioned we know picking something up” he mentioned”
Responding to the comment from the hoteliers, the Director of the Ghana Tourism Authority, Ben Anane-Nsiah said “I think they need some pat on the back. By the way, congratulations, association, we were anticipating, from what we did in 2019, that by the end of 2020 We'll get about 1,000,001.45 years of research to Ghana. We are laid down the foundation for all those, The contacts the events and so on we are going on trade fairs, the US kind of push the numbers, and so on”
“I'm coming to that, you know, to what we did and we work together with it with the private sector, got to open so on. We, we did our initial impact assessment which will present a run about me. You know, just to give an idea of what, for example, how many people have lost their jobs, how many hotels have closed down, because if you tell me now that okay, I have 25 workers who have been laid off”
“Last year, how many people were there, and the reasons why sometimes we had challenges with the data is, you know, this country has come through a period where, if you were rich, everybody was suspicious about you I'm talking about the 70s commercial where your money comes from as well. So people were a little reluctant to provide between the taxman or hit them”
He stressed that although the Ghana Tourism Authority is making demands for data from operators of which they do not get full compliance, it paints a picture about the performance of the industry.
Mr. Anane-Nsiah noted that the hotels were put outside a category of small scale because they had a certain threshold number of people.
“So we work with a World Tourism and Travel council to get somebody safe travel stamp for Ghana. We have to let them know that these are the COVID protocols in the country. These are the measures in our hotels, and the answer so they're actually investing very expensive equipment, and so on and so on. So that globally”
“Ghana is not hiring, because we realize that we are doing things right if you do come here because even though that is coming towards him was to go on all day to pick up, you know, gradually, so that we had to do and they will have to put us as a renewed emphasis on encouraging domestic tourism because empty hotels break everybody's hearts, I mean it's a problem, okay, you know, so, Yes, it's tough, but I think” he averred.
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Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith