The Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) has granted the Hospitality Industry the green light to resume operations after months of Covid-19 imposed suspension.
In a release dated May 11, 2020, the GTA directed all hotels to operate and host guest, observing all the laid down Covid-19 prevention protocols, which includes social distancing and frequent hand washing under running water with soap.
Food chains and Restaurant operators have also been directed to operate sit-down, pick-ups and delivery service.
“In all situations, hospitality facilities should observe the staff management and workplace protocols and precautionary measures on public gatherings with the view of achieving social distancing and hygiene protocols as spelt out in the Imposition of Restrictions (Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Pandemic) Instrument, 2020 (E.I 61)”, the GTA statement read.
The Chief Executive Officer of GTA, Akwasi Agyemang, in an interview with Joy News, which was monitored by the Ghana Talks Business stated that the guidelines are only to clarify the Executive Instrument for operators and not that the restrictions are being eased.
The GTA circular said that drinking bars could also resume operations, but a counter release from the Ministry of Tourism says Nightclubs and drinking spot remained closed until further notice.
Impact of Covid-19 on the sector
The hospitality industry is badly hit following President Akuffo-Addo’s directive to suspend all public gatherings which included conferences in the country in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This directive resulted in the cancellations of bookings made in hotels, prior to the first recorded cases in the country.
Several hotels have had to close down in the process, resulting in job losses for many people.
Statistics from the Ghana Tourism Authority indicate that the sector will witness a downsize in the next five months. This may result in revenue loss of $170 million in its entire value chain due to the pandemic.
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, affirmed this recently at a stakeholders’ meeting held in Accra to assess the effects of the COVID-19 on the industry.
This directive to ease restrictions on the hospitality industry by the GTA is perhaps to ease the economic hardship that the players in the sector have been hit with due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
By Salifu B.B. Moro