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Business News of Friday, 27 March 2020

Source: Class FM

90% of hotels surveyed may close down – Chamber of Tourism

If the Coronavirus pandemic does not slow down any time soon, about 90 per cent of hotels surveyed will be fully or partially closed down by next week, the Chamber of Tourism has said.

This means the government will significantly lose earnings from a sector that is the fourth contributor of revenue to the country.

According to the Chamber of Tourism Ghana, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector is so dire that only pragmatic action will save the sector from total collapse.

Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber of Tourism, Odelia Ntiamoah, told Class Business: “We are currently doing a research, we are yet to complete the research but so far, the hotels we have dealt with, for example, by next week about 90% of them will have totally closed down. That means that all these hotels that are closing down, we are looking at job losses, we are looking at revenue losses.”

She said: “Apart from that, restaurants and other places connected to us including tourist sites have all been closed down, beaches have closed. So, these are some of the reasons we are asking for a stimulus package”.

“Remember that the tourism sector contributed significantly to our foreign exchange earnings; we are currently at number four in terms of contribution to the country’s revenue. This also directly means that the government is losing revenue; so, if this sector goes down, you definitely have to help this sector stand up so you get the needed revenue when corona ends”, Mrs Ntiamoah said.

She explained further that a decline in activities of the tourism sector will affect the local currency, the cedi.

“Remember also that this is directly connected to the performance of the cedi, and all of us are interested in the cedi staying stable, whether you are an importer or exporter, you want the cedi remaining stable”.