President, Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Nyameke Jnr

The President of the Ghana Hotels Association says a stimulus package by the government is very crucial as some hotels are on the verge of collapse.

Dr Edward Nyameke Jnr. said this is due to the occupancy problem that has arisen as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

According to him, the outbreak has the potential of shutting down many hotels in the country.

Speaking on the Market Place programme on the JoyNews channel on Multi TV, Dr Nyameke noted that the survival of hotels thrives on the number of guests that come in to occupy rooms for various reasons.

He said when the occupancy rates are curtailed for instance in these times of the coronavirus outbreak, it cuts off the oxygen needed for the continued existence of these hotels.

“The truth is that as we sit here, the occupancy rate for hotels in April is going to range between 2% and 12% and that is very serious’’ he added.

Dr Nyameke confirmed some hotels may fold up soon because they just cannot survive.

Dr Nyameke stated that the earlier government grants a stimulus package the better it would be for hotels in the country.

It is about helping the industry to survive these terrible times.

“As far as the virus is around, people will not come around to patronize our hotels,” Dr Nyameke said.

SUSPENSION OF 1% TOURISM LEVY

He called for some form of financial assistance from the government to help pay staff salaries as there are limited activities to make money. He said the government must meet hotels halfway

On earlier calls by the Hotels Association for government to cut numerous taxes they pay, Dr Nyameke advocated a freeze on payment of VAT and suspension of the 1% tourism levy as well as granting interest-free loans for hotels to access in these terrible times.