Coronavirus: Hotels in Ghana lay off casual workers to reduce operational cost as patronage goes down

The Coronavirus pandemic is threatening every sector of the world’s economy.

Hotel room

Ghana is not left out in this situation as threats to businesses particularly in the aviation, hospitality and tourism sectors seem to be increasing.

In Ghana, some hotel managers have started laying off casual workers due to low patronage.

The hotel managers explain that patronage has dropped by a huge margin. The hotels are therefore asking for reliefs through tax cuts so that they do not shut down their facilities completely.

The COVID-19 has affected over 150,000 worldwide, with about 8,000 deaths.

Ghana has so far recorded 7 cases.

After Ghana recorded its sixth case, President Akufo-Addo announced measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

These measures include the ban on public gatherings and events, closing of schools, ban on flights from countries with over 200 coronavirus cases amongst others.

This means that passengers scheduled to fly into Ghana from countries like the UK, China, Italy, Brazil, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany among others cannot do so until such a time that the restrictions are revised.

These bans and restrictions have affected the hospitality industry.

Rene Vincent-Ernst, the General Manager of the Labadi Beach Hotel said if the problem persists, they may face severe challenges that may collapse their businesses.

The President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah Nyameke Jnr., told Accra-based Citi FM that though hotel managers are still paying high utility bills there is a sharp drop in patronage.

“We are looking at VAT rate being reduced if possible, is it possible to even adjust the electricity and water tariffs, is it possible to look at suspending the payment we make to regulatory bodies including property rates and similar costs, that’s what we want to know now.”

The General Manager of Accra City Hotel, Roman Krabel, stated that “all hoteliers in Accra are waiting for an official announcement, and we are looking forward to a reduction in VAT, as well as the tourism levy.”

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