Players in the Tourism sector will soon engage the government to explore possible means of providing stimulus packages to cushion the industry in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
When held, the meeting will afford government and the players an opportunity to explore how best to support the industry and make up for the loses it is recording due to the outbreak of the virus.
This was disclosed at the meeting called at the behest of key stakeholders in the tourism value chain.
The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, said government appreciate the immense contribution of the industry to the economy and for that matter will put in place measures to ensure that the sector does not suffer in these abnormal times.
The meeting brought together representatives from the Ghana Tourism Federation which comprised of 23 institutions to chart the path forward in addressing challenges faced by the industry.
The Minister, further explains that the meeting was necessary because of the huge number of people the sector employs across the value chain and its impact on the socio-economic development of the country.
She expressed the hope that the engagement with the President will yield positive results as they will be looking at how best the financial institutions could extend the payment of moratorium to the industry players.
Mrs Gyasi commended the hotel industry for availing their facility to government to be used as a quarantine centres, stressing that their efforts demonstrate love and service to humanity in these trying times.
She urged members to register with the Federation for a united front, priority would be given to groups affiliated or aligned with the Federation.
For her part, President of the Federation, Mrs Bella A. Ahu, appealed to Government to grant some incentives to it members as a compensation to the negative impact posed by the pandemic to the industry.
“The Federation is seeking for subsidy in water and electricity tariffs, suspension of taxes such as VAT, Tourism Levy, National Health Insurance Levy, Property rate and Business Operating Permit”, she said.
In addition to this, the Federation called for more stakeholder engagements during and after the crisis.
Again, it also urged its members to stay calm and adhere to the directives of the World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service.
Some of the members suggested the introduction of an emergency levy to help the industry in times of global crisis.
A representative from the Airline industry said there has been adjustment due to the pandemic, stating that individuals who have bought ticket on their names could be allow to change the names.
Also, the Airline system is flexible that the tickets could be used as voucher for a longer period of time without expiry dates.