Hospitality Industry asks for 65% reduction in utility bills

The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG) has appealed to the government to reduce electricity and water tariffs by at least 65 percent.

It has also called for the suspension of the Tourism Levy of one percent and the use of current reserves in the fund the levy finances, to support a bailout of hotels.

According to NHAG in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Theodore Dzeble, the demands are in response to severe challenges facing the hospitality sector in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in Ghana and its severe dampening effect on demand for hospitality services.

There are currently severe restrictions on movements in Ghana and a ban on travel into the country due to the coronavirus outbreak, a development the Association says was adversely affecting its members.

It has equally called on government to reduce property rates by 50 percent.

It revealed that there are ongoing mass layoffs in the hospitality sector due to the pandemic.

Government has announced plans to inject GHc3 billion in emergency financing into the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and hospitality sectors, in addition to proposing a six month moratorium of principal repayments on debts companies in those sectors owe to banks.

The Association has commended government for those initiatives but says more needs to be done to assuage the challenges of the sector.

Ghana had recorded 195 cases of coronavirus as at April 1, 2020.

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