Hotel operators still recording low patronage despite reopening of airports

The Ghana Hotels Association says business is picking up but at a rather slow pace about four weeks down the line since international flights resumed operations in the country

The country’s airports were reopened on September 1, 2020 after a lengthy shut down period as part of government’s COVID-19 preventive measures.

Speaking to Citi Business News, President of the Association, Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike, said his members are being quite moderate in their expectations.

He explained that, “Some of the reports we’ve received indicate that some hotels are still doing below 10 and 20 percent. Don’t forget that, in the year of return, some went as high as 65 percent to 70 percent, so coming down to 10 and 15 percent is quite significant. We are also aware that the Ghana Tourism Authority is embarking on quite a number of projects just to encourage domestic tourism and just recently the world tourism day was celebrated. These programs call for people to move across the country and all of these help the business. So, we hope there will be some improvement. But for now we cannot say that it is anywhere close to what we had last year and we are even envisaging that its going to go on for quite some time before we get back to normal business.”

Impact of COVID-19 induced restrictions on tourism and hospitality sector

The country’s borders and airports were all shut as part of government’s measure to avert a further spread of the coronavirus in the country.

This move hampered operations of businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector that rely heavily on foreigners for business.

In Ghana, the sector is projected to create about a million jobs while contributing about 6.2 percent to Ghana’s GDP.

But according to the sector minister, Barbara Oteng Gyasi, as of June 2020, the sector had incurred losses running into $171 million as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), for instance, had earlier indicated that thousands of its members have been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Federation, its members, comprising formal and informal sector workers are unable to operate due to the ban on public gathering.

Reopening of the country’s airport

After several months of non-operation, the president in his 16th national address on measures taken to control the spread of the Coronavirus, announced the reopening of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) for international flights on September 1, 2020.

This was a welcoming announcement for members of the Ghana Hotels association with hopes that business will resume full scale for them.

But about a month after it appears that is not the case.


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