President of the Ghana Hotels Association (GHA), Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike, has lamented the seeming lack of accountability with respect to the administration and disbursement of the tourism development fund.
According to him, the administration of the tourism development fund has denied tourism trade association the needed financial support to be effective partners in the public-private sector collaboration space. He revealed that the situation is unfortunate and needs to be addressed for the benefit of the association.
Dr Ackah-Nyamike also called on the board to revert to the old practice, where stakeholders were updated regularly on the inflows and outflows of the fund.
“Another worrying trend over the last few years has been the lack of accountability in the disbursement of the fund. We call on the board of the Ghana Tourism Authority to revisit the proposal for the portion of the fund to be allocated to functional tourism trade associations every year to support the aspirations of the association…”Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike
Speaking at a press conference today, August 29, 2023, ahead of a march to the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) to present its petition against the increment of utility tariffs, Dr Ackah-Nyamike noted that the association holds strong reservations on such increment.
He explained that the association’s particular issue is with the adjustment that was implemented in February which saw the increment of tariffs, insisting that the move created debts for hotels.
“So, we want that one to be reversed to what it was. Reverse it first and then do the 8.3 per cent and if you can now talk about new rates, that’s a whole different ball game. Our focus is not on the new adjustment that is starting from the 1st, even though that is a discussion for another day; because it means that the rates are high, so, either way there is an issue.”Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike
Harnessing public private partnership forum
Commenting on the public private partnership forum (PPPF), which is included a provision under the tourism act 81 (7), that is structured to ensure regular engagement among stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality sector, Dr Ackah-Nyamike highlighted that more work needs to be done to achieve the aim of the forum in discussing challenges facing the sector and ways to address them.
Moreover, he indicated that the association believes that the enormous benefits embedded in the PPPF is yet to be tapped, and steps must be taken urgently to address it.
“A case in point is the recent presidential summit on tourism, held on 30th and 31st May 2023, which had all the elements of a PPPF. A number of important news were raised at the summit, which when addressed, will go a long way to advance the growth and development of the country. Unfortunately, almost three months after the summit, there seems to be no roadmap for addressing the issues that were raised at the presidential summit.”Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike
The association’s President also raised a number of issues bordering on the mandatory membership of hotels association, copyright royalty, funding of trading activities – which have not received the needed attention. To this end, he called on the ministry for Tourism and the Ghana Tourism Authority to work towards getting the most out of the PPPF.
“In conclusion, we trust that what we have put out here will serve as a wakeup call to the government, ministries and agencies to pay more attention to some of the issues confronting the hotel industry and tourism and hospitality industry at large, to ensure its sustenance and growth…”Dr Edward Ackah-Nyamike