The Minister for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Catherine Afeku, has hinted of government’s plans to subsidise electricity bills for operators in the hospitality industry.
The Minister was responding to concerns by some hotel operators about the exorbitant energy tariffs, which they say is gradually crippling their businesses.
Koku Adjatey Odupey of Western Plus Hotel in Takoradi says “the energy cost for running a hotel is very high that something needs to be done about it”.
“I’m suggesting to the minister that they need to come up with policies to support big hotels. If not it will collapse…and already in the Western Region occupancies are very low.
“We are appealing with the government to come up with a policy to help us.”
From the Palms and Eagle Hotel, the General Manager raised similar sentiments.
“You realise that at the end of the month, you get your bills and electricity is top but you may have not made much to settle it but it would be a priority.”
This was prominent among the many issues raised by the stakeholders, who had met with the Tourism Ministry, the Ghana Tourism Authority and the Ghana Tourism Development Company on Monday to identify ways of addressing their concerns in a bid to develop the sector.
In response, the Minister said an energy policy document is currently being worked on to address the issue.
“If we are going to bring down cost or revenue on government coffers, we have to find a way to commensurate that shortfall…solar is the way to go…it’s quite expensive so there has to be a package to support the industry.”
The team had early on paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Western Region Minister, Eugenia Gifty Kusi, who gave the green light for the Ministry to go ahead with all its intended projects in the Region.
By Kwabena Adu-Gyamfi|3news.com|Takoradi, Ghana