Barbara Oteng Gyasi
The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Barbara Oteng Gyasi, says she would engage government on a stimulus support system to cushion the tourism industry in the wake of COVID-19.
She explained that government recognized the immense contribution of the industry to the economy and would put in place measures to ensure that the sector does not suffer as a result of the pandemic.
The minister was speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Accra to brainstorm how best to seek support from government due to the effects of the disease on the sector.
The meeting brought together representatives from the Ghana Tourism Federation which represents 23 institutions to chart the path forward in addressing challenges faced by the industry.
The stakeholders have developed a proposal to the ministry on the effects of the disease on their operations and the ministry promised to engage the leadership of the federation to President Akufo-Addo for assistance.
This, the minister explained, was necessary because the sector employed a huge number of people across the value chain sector for socioeconomic development.
She was optimistic that the engagement with the President would yield positive results and explore ways of discussing with the financial institutions to extend the payment of moratorium with industry players.
Mrs Oteng-Gyasi commended the hotel industry for availing their facility to government to be used as a quarantine centre, stressing that their efforts had demonstrated love and service to humanity in this difficult situation.
She urged members to register with the federation for a united front, priority would be given to groups affiliated or aligned with the federation.
Mrs Bella A. Ahu, president of the federation, appealed to government to grant its members incentives to compensate negative impact of the pandemic on 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.