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General News of Thursday, 18 April 2019

Source: Thechronicle.com.gh

FEATURE: Golden Tulip Hotel has sullied the reputation of Ghana

Following the nice marketing strategy adopted by the previous and current government, foreign investors are now showing much interest in investing in Ghana. Also, our enviable record of peace in the troubled region of West Africa is helping to boost investor confidence. Tourism is another sector that is really helping in the economic development of the country.

Tourists’ arrivals in the country keep on increasing year in and out, thus, helping to bolster the foreign exchange reserve of the country. But for tourism and these foreign investments, it would have been very difficult for the government to manage the dollar-cedi volatility. It is based on these facts that The Chronicle is alarmed about the report that a diplomat who had come to transact official business in the country was attacked and robbed at knife point at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra.

Mr Yung-Moon Kim, Commissioner of Korea Customs, was attacked in his hotel room at the Golden Tulip Hotel and robbed of his money and passport. According to the story we carried yesterday, the assailant knocked at the door of Yung-Moon Kim, and thinking that the person might be a hotel staff, he also opened the door, only to be ordered at knife point by the criminal to surrender money in his possession and passport.

To save his life from being curtailed by the Ghanaian assailant, the Korean diplomat surrendered the money in his possession to him (assailant). The Chronicle is happy that the hotel took steps to immediately report the incident to the police. We are, nevertheless, unhappy with the way the Korean was attacked.

Since Golden Tulip is one of the top hotels in the country, security at the facility should have been a top priority, because it hosts high profile personalities from all over the world. In other jurisdictions, and even here in Ghana, it is not easy for a visitor to gain access to the rooms of some of the top hotels. Security in these hotels is always tight, but, unfortunately, the same cannot be said about Golden Tulip, at least, based on the incident we are complaining about.

The Korean diplomat is going to carry a bad impression about Ghana to his country through no fault of the government, but the reckless conduct of the management of the hotel. Before the publication, there was a heated debate at the editorial conference as to whether we should publish the story or not. Whilst some of the editorial members argued that the story would tarnish the reputation of the country, others also argued that such issues must be exposed for the hotel management to sit up. This will prevent future occurrence.

In the end, those in favour won the day and story was published. Since The Chronicle is also a business entity, we have no interest in destroying other’s businesses, but we simply could not overlook the story because of its implications, especially on our quest to attract more direct foreign investments.

With this experience, there is no way Mr Yung-Moon Kim would advise any of his compatriots to either visit or invest in Ghana. The Chronicle is, therefore, urging the police to get to the bottom of the case by requesting for CCTV camera footages to track and arrest the perpetrator. We equally recommend to the government, through the Ministry of Tourism, to severely punish Golden Tulip Hotel for the security breach at the facility. The collateral damage caused this country is enormous and must not be allowed to go scot free.

The government must set an example, so that all the top hotels in the country would take the security of their guests very serious. For a criminal to walk through security check points and enter the room of a guest unimpeded is a serious matter, and it tells a story of how security has been relegated to the background at the hotel.