Commercial banks in the countries have committed themselves to raise an amount of three billion cedis to support the hospitality industry.
This forms part of government’s plans to give a bailout to the industry following the outbreak of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its effect on businesses.
At a meeting with industry players on Tuesday at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said interest rates would be reduced to support industries as they strove to recover from the effects of the virus which was globally affecting economies.
“The commercial banks have agreed with the Minister of Finance and the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to raise three billion cedis by way of loans they are going to give to specific industries. The hospitality sector is one of them, and the BoG, again with the support of the Minister of Finance, has worked towards reducing interest rates and even putting in place a moratorium on the payment of principal and I believe on interest on monies as well. So there is a package there that is available and accessible to you,” he told the industry players.
Apart from that, he indicated that “there is a subsequent package that is also currently being negotiated by the minister and the BoG for a much larger sum of money to be pumped into the economy to support and empower the more productive sectors of the economy and once again the hospitality sector is one of them.”
President of the Tour Operators Union of Ghana, Kwesi Eyison, President of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Bella Ayayee Ahu and President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike Jnr, who spoke on behalf of their respective groups, said the main challenge of their members as a result of the Covid-19
crisis was how to meet their recurrent expenditure, particularly the payment of salaries of staff.
They welcomed government’s decision to provide them with a financial rescue plan and prayed that some urgency would be attached to the disbursement of same by the Finance Ministry.
Others present were Emmanuel Frimpong, Executive Secretary of the Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF); Stella Appenteng, President, SKAL International- Ghana; York Yeboah Ocran, President of the Car Rental Association of Ghana; Isaac Sackey, President of the Chefs Association of Ghana.
The rest were Awuku Yirenkyi, President of the Tour Guides Association of Ghana; Kwame Bamfo (Sikkens), MD Alisa Hotel; Kate Hasan, President of Event Vendors; Manish Numbair, General Manager of the Kempinski Hotel; Rene Vincent Ernst, General Manager of the Labadi Beach hotel; Theresa Ayaode, Event Organizers Association; Adnan Yucuk, Chief Executive Officer of Movenpik Ambassador hotel and Zibrim Yamusa of the Best Western Hotel.
The Minister for Tourism and Creative Arts, Barbara Oteng Gyasi and Akwasi Agyeman, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), also participated in the meeting.